"Where Is The Love?" Thirteen Years Later
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Politics and Activism

"Where Is The Love?" Thirteen Years Later

Hate is never the answer.

"Where Is The Love?" Thirteen Years Later

Thirteen years ago, hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas came out with a song called “Where Is The Love?” The song topped the charts in 2003 and was praised by critics for addressing issues such as racism, terrorism, discrimination, and violence in the media. The commercial success of a hip hop song that carried an important message about the world, rather than just talking about dancing, sex, or partying, was as rare then as it would be today.

However, the special thing about this song isn’t how successful it was, but rather the fact that its message is still as relevant today as it was back then. In this last month alone, there has been a surge of hate and violence around the world. 292 people were killed in an ISIS truck bombing in Baghdad (CNN, 2016). 49 people were killed in Orlando in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history (CNN, 2016). 36 people were killed in the Istanbul airport attack carried out by ISIS (CNN, 2016). Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were two black men killed without cause by police officers in Baton Rouge and Minnesota (NPR, 2016). Five US police officers were killed by a sniper in Dallas (CNN, 2016). And I cannot emphasize enough that these are only the tragedies that have made headlines. There are so many more innocent people all over the world that needlessly die every day without their deaths ever being publicly recognized.

There is no action that can ever make right the wrongs that have been committed in these recent events. There is no law that can give back the loved ones that have been lost in these tragedies. However, there is the simple truth that the song “Where is the Love” preaches: Hate is not the answer.

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

Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'

In the USA, the big CIA
The Blood from 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 hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah

Trevor Noah, the host of "The Daily Show," said it best: “it seems like it's pro-cop and anti-black, or pro-black and anti-cop, when in reality, you can be pro-cop and pro-black, which is what we should all be” (Rolling Stone, 2016). There are too many people in the U.S. that believe that they must choose a side. They see the race issue in America as one that has a clearly defined line between blacks and whites. However, there is no such line. Not all white cops are racist and not all black men are criminals. It is absolutely ridiculous to discriminate against an entire demographic based on the actions of only a small percentage of that population. Is there a problem of underlying racism among cops in America that must be addressed? Yes. Should cops be trained better on where and when to use deadly force? Yes. But gunning down police officers with a sniper will never be the answer. Actions fueled by hate will never bring peace.

Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Now, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

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

Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love? x3
Where is the love?
The love, the love

While there are some people around the nation who have been spurred by hate to commit violence against police officers in the wake of these tragedies, there are also those who have been compelled by love to protest for change in the U.S. I am willing to bet that most of the citizens who are marching in Black Lives Matter protests around the country aren’t marching because they hate police, rather they are marching because they want a better future for those that they love. They are marching in hopes that one day their sons and daughters won’t be treated any different by the law because of the color of their skin. What people like the Dallas shooter don’t seem to understand is that when your actions are fueled by love and passion rather than hate, people will listen and change will come.

It just ain't the same, always unchanged
New days are strange, is the world insane?
If love and peace is so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong
Nations droppin' bombs

Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With the ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone

So I can ask myself really what is goin' wrong

In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin' in
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's 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, come on (I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all (come on yeah)

Some may say that believing in the power of passion and love is a naïve way to view the world. They may argue that no war has ever been won by soldiers peacefully protesting on the battlefield. No battle has ever been fought with the power of love. However, what we are fighting in the U.S. and what others are fighting around the world can’t be resolved with guns and bullets. What we are fighting are intangible ideas like racism, hate, bigotry, ignorance, and prejudice. It is unfortunate that people like Donald Trump, a person who is in a position to lead our country, believe that the best way to deal with hate and terrorism like that of ISIS is to “bomb the s--- out of 'em” (Business Insider, 2015). I am not saying that guns and weapons are never necessary. When it comes to defending ourselves, or defending those who cannot fight their own battles, I agree that the use of weapons is unavoidable. However, making ignorant, inflammatory remarks like “I would bomb the s--- out of ‘em” or “all white cops hate black people” only serves to plant the seeds of hate and prejudice within our world.


I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' the wrong direction

Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images, it's the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids want to act like what they see in the cinema

Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead in spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found now ask yourself

The sad truth about the United States and our world as a whole is that there will always be another tragedy. There will always be another life taken too soon. There will always be prejudice that exists towards different groups of people. But that doesn’t mean that we as humans should stop trying to make things better. Next time you hear about another tragedy in the news, try to reach for understanding rather than hate. Try to understand that those who lost their lives were someone’s child, husband, father, mother, etc. Whether they are a cop or an African American, they were someone’s world. It’s okay to be angry and indignant over the happenings in the world, it’s okay to want change, but it will never be okay to believe that more killing and more hate will solve our problems.

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 us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love
Where is the love

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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