Monday, August 18, 2014

In the Age of Obama... Where is the Love?

I remember back in 2008 the musical artist produced a viral and powerful campaign video on behalf of then-Senator Barack Obama's presidential bid.

That makes it all the more surprising that has now released a song by his group The Black Eyed Peas that is in its way a powerful critique of our time in this, the era of President Obama.

The song is entitled "Where is the Love?" and it seems already immensely and immediately popular, with more than eighty million Youtube plays.

Both abroad and at home our nation now feels farther away from the promise of peace and unity we looked forward to back in 2008.  This Black Eyed Peas' song, then, couldn't be more timely.  Below are some of that song's lyrics, along with my brief commentary.  Mid-way in this post comes the video, which I encourage all Main Point readers to watch carefully while reading these lyrics.

What’s wrong with the world, mama?
People livin’ like they ain’t got no mamas.
I think the whole world addicted to the drama,
Only attracted to things that’ll bring you trauma

 How true.

Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin’
In the USA, the big CIA,
The Bloods and the Crips and the KKK.
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate.
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you have hate then you’re bound to get irate.

Seems a possible reference to events in Ferguson, Missouri, but is really a general and timeless truth.

Madness is what you demonstrate,
And that’s exactly how anger works and operates.
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight

People killin’, people dyin’
Children hurt and you hear them cryin’
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
‘Cause people got me questionin’
Where is the love?

It just ain’t the same, always unchanged.
New days are strange, is the world insane?

Nations droppin’ bombs
Chemical gasses fill in’ lungs of little ones.
Presumably a reference here to one of the conflicts in Middle East in the last year, with red lines drawn, crossed, ignored, etc...

A war is goin’ on but the reasons undercover
The truth is kept secret, it’s swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love

Where’s the love, y’all?
(I don’t know)
Where’s the truth, y’all?

(I don’t know)

Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria.

A point that always bears repeating.

Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema.
Whatever happened to the values of humanity?
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality?

Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity.

Sing with me y’all:
One, one world.
Something’s wrong with it
Something’s wrong with the world.

We only got
(One world, one world)
That’s all we got
(One world, one world).

The ending of the video provides a beautiful moment, so I'll hope you all will watch to the end.

UPDATE: A friend has pointed out that the song "Where Is The Love?" was released in 2003.  Well, yes, I suppose that's true, but it's more fun to think of it as released this month.

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