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Rapper Mos Def is talented and politcally savvy, but he suffers from the same irrational distrust that afflicts so many young, black men.
The subject line was ominous: "This is difficult to watch," it said. I probably shouldn't share with you what sort of video I was expecting to find upon opening the message, but I can tell you that the enclosed clip, though not what I imagined, was indeed difficult to watch, especially for a huge hip-hop fan like me.
If you like politics and have HBO, or are just into YouTube, perhaps you've seen the video of rapper Mos Def and author Christopher Hitchens, bookending Salman Rushdie and Bill Maher on Maher's talk show, engaged in a conversation about the Taliban. It is a conversation that quickly devolves into the sort of scene that usually precedes a shouting match, or even a fistfight. In and of itself, angry, televised ranting about politics is a vulgarity too often tolerated by Americans (a problem The Root has touched on before), but what made this heated bickering particularly cringe-worthy was the imbalance of it.
Mos Def was overwhelmed by men far more learned about the topic at hand than himself, and in the carnage that ensued, viewers were exposed to one of the sadder problems plaguing parts of the African-American community today: an immovable distrust of everything.