By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
6.6.16: National – (Lifestyle): The most memorable song of the many that Mr. Christian McBride, a world-famous jazz bassist born in Philadelphia, chartered out for his masterpiece, ‘The Movement Revisited,’ is, in my opinion, one about Mr. Muhammad Ali, the famous boxer and activist who was pronounced dead last Friday.
In a musical about civil rights activists, where the other characters are Ms. Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mr. Malcolm X, “Why Ali?” is a common question asked, Mr. McBride once told me. Mr. Ali earned a spot in ‘The Movement Revisited,’ and moreover, the label activist, because of his refusal to go to Vietnam, a pivotal moment of protest in the 60s, Mr. McBride, a multi-time Grammy Award-winner, suggested.
Mr. Ali’s protest was so significant because of his fame – at the time he was arguably the most famous boxer on the planet and was able to reach and influence many people through the media – and how much he had to lose (and did lose) by being defiant. In a society driven by capitalism, when one is willing to risk profit for principle, they, indeed, deserve admiration.
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At the moment, given their protest and willingness to lose out on profit for the sake of principles, I admire BuzzFeed, a behemoth of a media company that today terminated a seven figure advertising deal with the Republican National Committee because Mr. Donald Trump, a successful businessman and reality-television-star-turned-politician, is their candidate. The company’s CEO, Mr. Jonah Peretti, said the media platform doesn’t showcase ads about cigarettes because they’re hazardous to our health, and “we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.”
Prior to BuzzFeed’s stance, the media company who took the boldest anti-Trump position was The Huffington Post, which runs, on every article about the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee who wants to build a wall to mitigate illegal immigration and ban Muslims temporarily from entering the U.S., a disclaimer which indentifies Mr. Trump as, among other things, a racist and rampant xenophobe.
The actions of these media companies are noteworthy because they’re considered outliers among their peers, many of whom, like CBS’ CEO Les Moonves – who once suggested that though Mr. Trump isn’t good for the nation, he’s good for the media business – depend on the unconventional candidate to create controversy, which, in turn, makes for must-see-TV.
Though BuzzFeed isn’t protesting a war, rejecting ad revenue – and risking retaliation and a loss of future business – based on principle(s) is equal, in defiance and morality, to Mr. Ali’s refusal to be drafted into a war he didn’t believe in. Today, BuzzFeed, like Mr. Ali, took a bold political stand, no matter the cost, and they deserve our admiration for that act.
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Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
About Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
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