Yasiin Bey

It’s not in the news as much anymore, but people are still being detained at Guantánamo Bay, and as Ramadan begins, many of them are staging hunger strikes. To break those hunger strikes, it’s standard military practice to force-feed many of those detainees through an absolutely awful process that involves a feeding tube up the nose. Yasiin Bey, still known to most of the world as Mos Def, recently agreed to undergo that same procedure, on camera, for the human rights organization Reprieve, with the filmmaker Asif Kapadia documenting it. Bey went through only a couple of minutes of a process that normally takes two hours, which normally happens twice daily, and it reduces him to screaming and tears. The resulting video is really hard to watch, and it serves as some small indication of what the American military regularly puts people through. Watch it at The Guardian.

Comments (8)
  1. That’s some pretty fucked up shit.

  2. There’s somehow something slightly hilarious about this..ssssss

    • i know, seeing this makes me somehow glad that Obama has failed to close Gitmo.

    • Those “s’s” were meant to draw attention to my alliteration, but now appear extremely appropriate next to one of my most Slytherin-like comments.

      And to explain what I thought was funny, it’s like there are millions of unsaid atrocities that occur in war and to go out of your way to experience one seems an odd and humorous way to draw light on it. I was mainly thinking, well, there’s a lot of people who get shot to death in war too (which deals heavier and more permanent damage than force feeding), but I haven’t seen many performance protests like this one on it.

      Also wanted to say something like “in these times it’s hard to take protest seriously, things are pretty bad and power wielders are pretty careless out there. Basically nobody gives a fuck.” Cus that sentiment was also behind my comment. But the tired cliche reminds me of a college classmate’s response to bleeding heart liberalism: that things are relatively good nowadays – no plague, no dark ages, there’s no momentous war involving half the globe’s citizenry.

      It makes sense for a prominent Muslim activist to weigh in on this subject. Mostly, I just found his grimacing face in the image absurd.

      Is this an apology? I don’t know man, I voted for Obama and I love the guy but shit is real and complicated and intense! And it’s a tough gig trying to be a Democrat and not look like a pussy all the time! Enough! The man could not have run on “Mope!”

      Unrelated, but I wonder if Yassin is pissed about being stuck in Kanye Camp/Good Music.

  3. he probably should’ve run on “Change We Can Believe In?”

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