I’d estimate that at least 90% of DJs, if not more, got into DJing because of a love for music. And the vast majority of the music we play is either directly or indirectly influenced by black culture: blues led to country & western and rhythm & blues, which led to rock & roll, which led to rock. Rhythm & blues also led to soul which in turn spawned disco, house and hip-hop. Rhythm & blues also preceded ska which led to reggae, which was also influenced directly by African music… and this list could go on for a long time. So essentially the music that almost every DJ plays has been heavily influenced by black music in some way.
“I look all white but my dad was black”
Substitute - The Who
Is there a line in a song that you feel could almost have been written for you and applies to very few other people? This ‘60s hit from The Who is mine. Some readers of Pro Mobile have met me and yet probably are unaware that I have a black father and am therefore mixed race. Growing up mixed race and yet looking white led to many encounters where white people made racist comments in front of me (not directed at me, because they didn't know I was mixed race). Most of the time I was pretty sure they would never have made the same comments directly to a black person, and they’d either forgotten I was mixed or just had no idea. When that happened it didn’t upset me, rather, I looked upon it as a blessing because it allowed me to see people for who they REALLY were rather than what they were pretending to be in front others.
Having a foot in both camps I'm opposed to both white and black extremism. Because this will never lead to healing, but only division and that is the last thing this planet needs. Those that try to divide us have selfish ulterior motives.
When you look back through history one thing is very clear, there has always been social injustice in the world, ever since humans became 'civilised’. There’s also a good argument to be made that almost all of that injustice and intolerance comes back to the same issue: lack of the right type of education. However, education, in its broadest sense, is not enough. It is too easy to be fooled by thinking that because someone has a degree or other qualification that they are therefore ‘intelligent’. If, for example, you study art or geology or computer science for three years that just makes you knowledgeable on that topic and you could well be ignorant to many other aspects of life and we too easily forget this. But then many notorious sociopaths and notable fascist figures in history have been very 'intelligent’, with high IQs, but harboured extreme racist views and inflicted a huge amount of pain and suffering on other people. Some people consider anyone who they perceive as intelligent and/or has a high IQ unlikely to be racist, but that is far from true.
Strive to Improve Your EQ More Than Your IQ!
IQ = Intelligence Quotient
EQ = Emotional Quotient
In my opinion, one vital aspect missing from most educational establishments – schools, colleges and universities – is the teaching of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). It has been shown time and time again that having a high IQ does not necessarily mean the person will have a high EQ. But someone with a high EQ is extremely unlikely to have a low IQ and is also very unlikely to be racist. The five key components of EQ are:
1. Self-awareness – Of your own feelings and emotions.
2. Self-regulation – Being able to name, identify and manage your own emotions and feelings.
3. Empathy – Identifying, naming and managing the feelings of others around you. By definition, empathetic people are not racist, sexist, homophobic etc.
4. Motivation – Examining your reasons for wanting to achieve goals, being able to delay gratification, and striving to always improve. When things don’t go as planned, motivated people are more resilient.
5. Social Skills – Being able to recognise another’s emotions is one thing, but being able to interact with them in a way that adapts to this information is another ballgame. People with keen social skills develop strong relationships and excel in the workforce, especially in positions of leadership or where teamwork is required.
IQ is usually considered to be 'fixed’, you’re either born with a high or low IQ and have to learn to live with what you have. Fortunately, emotional intelligence can be improved over time and with practice. Which is worth doing, as working to develop your EQ can positively affect both your professional and personal life.
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 103, Pages 60-64.