An Open Letter To Ludacris

Dear Ludacris:

You are a three-time Grammy award winning artist. No one can dispute that you are one of the leading rappers in the industry. You have the first amendment right to record music of your own choosing. But I feel that the recent release of your song attacking Jesse Jackson and Senators Hillary Clinton and John McCain only hurts Senator Obama. Obama, who you have stated is a friend of yours and offered your support to. But with friends like you, Obama doesn’t need enemies.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright , Father Michael Pflegler, Jesse Jackson and now you have all made public statements during this historic election that were an unnecessary distraction and harmed Obama, forcing him to respond. If you were really his friend you would realize that maybe you should just shut up! This is a close race and there are many Americans who are undecided and looking for an excuse not to vote for a Black man. How could you go and have the audacity to call Hillary Clinton an “irrelevant bitch?”

I can envision the McCain and Republican attack ads now. Pictures of you and Obama. Exploiting your comments and letting white America know that Obama has the support of rappers like you who call white women bitches. Our organization has a long track record and history of condemning not just you but all gangster rappers who disparage women, and glorify violence. We are not ever backing down from our position.

Ludacris, we’re calling for you to apologize to those that you disparaged in your song. With a special emphasis in regards to Sen. Clinton. Sen. Clinton is a former first lady, wife, mother and woman. I’m sure when you see Michelle Obama you don’t envision her in that manner and would never call her that. No woman deserves to be called that term.

Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly has previously taken you to task, denouncing your controversial lyrics. His public pressure cost you a significant sponsorship with the Pepsi Corporation. Oprah Winfrey took you to task for the misogynist role you have in rap when you appeared on her show a couple of years ago. And now Obama has personally denounced you. I doubt very seriously whether you will be on his guest list for the inauguration. When are you going to realize that yes, you’re rich, but not respected. You have become your own worst enemy?

I support Obama with all my heart and want him to win. If you truly feel the same way, then maybe you should humble yourself and apologize. If not, can you and any other Obama “friends” out there just shut up until after the election? Because if Obama has any more friends like you, he doesn’t need enemies.

Najee Ali is Executive Director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E, a national civil rights organization that advocates for the human rights of oppressed people regardless of race, gender or religion. He was selected by Wave Newspapers and Our Weekly Newspaper as one of the 25 most influential black leaders in Los Angeles. More information is available at:

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