culture

These Cousins Are Rapping In Their Indigenous Language To Preserve Their Culture

CREDIT: NANA VASQUEZ

Meet Brayan and Dario Tascón.

Credit: NANA VASQUEZ / YouTube
CREDIT: Credit: NANA VASQUEZ / YouTube

Over the last few years, the Colombian cousins have released a handful of hip hop videos in their native language, Emberá.

Indigenous Rap Straight Out of ColombiaDario and Brayan rap in Emberá, an endangered language in Colombia and Panama.

Posted by AJ+ on Sunday, September 4, 2016

CREDIT: AJ+ / Facebook

Brayan and Darío are using hip hop to preserve their native language. Though spoken by nearly 80,000 indigenous Colombians and Panamanians, Emberá is an endangered language, which means that in just a few generations, Emberá, along with their way of life, may cease to exist. By combining hip hop with their native language, the cousins hope, as Dario explains, “… to encourage children to learn it. We don’t want children to forget about our culture, our language.”

They’ve toured through South America to promote awareness of the struggles facing their culture. Using hip hop to spread the cousin’s message makes total sense.

CREDIT: NANA VASQUEZ / YOUTUBE

Arguably the greatest strength of hip hop is its ability to give voice to those wanting to call out the injustices in society. In the late ’70s and ’80s, hip hop turned a mirror onto relevant issues like poverty, crime, and the flawed justice system.  The cousins are no exception in how they handle their subject matter. Both Dario and Brayan draw lyrical inspiration from the ideals that are important to their culture as well as violence that currently surrounds their community — the indigenous people have found themselves caught between the conflicts of the FARC militia and the Colombian military. Brayan illustrates this point, by saying, “We are very conscious when it comes to writing our lyrics. We sing about the environment, Mother Earth, no to violence and discrimination.”

Their biggest hit, “Condor Pasa,” currently has over 12K views on YouTube.

CREDIT: NANA VASQUEZ / YOUTUBE

The love of their culture is reflected in many aspects of their videos. Their lyrics, which are completely in Emberá, touch on subjects important to their people. They feature backgrounds and environments that are distinctly of their region. They wear elements of traditional attire. And they perform rituals and dances that are heavily influenced by their heritage. Thanks to the efforts of Dario and Brayan, they are preserving the language as well as the culture of the Emberá people.

H/T: AJ+


Read: This Mexican Fighting Style Is Pure Indigenous Martial Artistry

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Racist Bus Driver Fired For Being Racist On Camera

things that matter

Racist Bus Driver Fired For Being Racist On Camera

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QARpD9Zhr0

Credit: Tim Foley/YouTube

Here’s a pro tip for all the racists out there: unless you want to be unemployed, you should probably just keep your bigotry to yourself.

That’s the lesson that Mary Black, a middle-aged bus driver from Jerome, Idaho, recently learned the hard way. Black was fired from her job at the Northside Bus Company after a video shot by a student surfaced online that showed her emptying a bottle of water on a Latino 8th grader and demanding that he speak English to her.

“I don’t understand Spanish,” Black told Brayan Martinez, the kid she had just victimized. “I’m not going to learn it. I live in America and it’s an English-speaking country. So if you want to speak to me, speak to me in English.”

On Saturday, Black was fired.

Before you start feeling bad for her, don’t. According to people who spoke to local news outlet KTVB, Black has told several Latino kids that they couldn’t speak Spanish in her bus this multiple times, but she allegedly always turned the equipped camera off. That probably explains why Brayan Alvarez, the student who shot the video, can be heard saying in Spanish that they finally got her in the longer version of the video (you can view that here).

What happened in Idaho is by no means an isolated incident. The eradication of Spanish in schools has historically been a tool of Latino oppression. I’m not talking about “back in the day,” either. In 2014, a Texas principal tried to ban Spanish from his school. He too was eventually fired.  It’s not just schools, either. Whole Foods, the super expensive grocery store chain popular with white liberals, was sued in 2013 by the American Civil Liberties Union for trying to pass a similar ban.

Here’s the silver lining though: people like Mary Black are on the wrong side of history; they are fighting a losing battle. They can’t fight the browning of America. We’re everywhere, even in Idaho. In fact, the state is 11 percent Latino (mostly Mexican/Mexican-American), and that number will continue to grow. People like Black will continue to hate, but at the end of the day, no hay nada que puedan hacer.

READ: Is This Racist Or Nah? This Dude Just Made An ‘English Only’ Rule For His Restaurant

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