On Wednesday's Morning Joe, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski discussed the controversy caused by the now-expelled SAE fraternity members who led their brothers in a racist chant -- and determined that rap music was to blame for it, Mediaite's Evan McMurry reports.
Responding to a CNN interview with rapper Waka Flocka Flame -- who had performed at the Oklahoma SAE chapter the previous summer -- in which he said he was "disgusted" by the video in which Parker Rice led his brothers in a chant that included both racist language and a reference to lynching, Brzezinski said that some of the blame for the behavior belongs on artists like him.
"I look at his lyrics, and you have to ask yourself why he would go on that campus. If you look at every single song [by Waka Flocka Flame], it’s a bunch of garbage,” she said. “It’s full of n-words, it’s full of f-words. It’s wrong. And he shouldn’t be disgusted with them -- he should be disgusted with himself."
The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol jumped in, opining that "popular culture becomes a cesspool, a lot corporations profit off of it, and then people are surprised that some drunk 19-year-old kids repeat what they’ve been hearing."
Scarborough added that "as anybody who watches Empire" -- the hit Fox series about a family fighting for control of a hip hop media enterprise -- "knows, 70 percent of the audience is white. The kids that are buying hip hop or gangster rap, it’s a white audience, and they hear this over and over again. So do they hear this at home? Well, chances are good, no, they heard a lot of this from guys like this who are now acting shocked."
Willie Geist, who Kristol christened the show's "expert on the gangster rap," interjected that "there is a distinction between a bunch of white kids chanting about hanging someone from a tree and using that word in a hateful way. This is a term you hear in hip hop, that African American guys, in certain contexts, call each other. There's a distinction."
Watch the entire exchange below via YouTube.