Dr. Benjamin Chavis says to change hip-hop you must change societal problems.

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Dr. Benjamin Chavis was once CEO of the NAACP and is now the CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Network, which he co-founded with Russell Simmons.

He says that while Imus's "awful comments" have presented an opportunity to discuss issues America has avoided for years, Imus is by no means off the hook.

"Hip-hop artists are not responsible for what Don Imus did. Don Imus was a racist. Don Imus was a sexist, and there's no way that Don Imus can blame hip-hop for what he did," Dr. Chavis says. "That is not to excuse hip-hop. Hip hop is not perfect. We've got to make it better. But we make hip-hop better by making society better, because hip-hop reflects the contradictions of society. There's too much poverty, there's too much injustice, and there's too much bad treatment of women in our society."
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FROM: After Imus: The Hip-Hop Community Responds
Published on July 13, 2009

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