One of my favorite music videos by rapper Pharoahe Monch is for his dope, but likely never heard of single “Clap,” which was released back in 2011.
The video is actually a 10-minute visual. A short film based on Monch’s commentary on questionable police tactics and its effects on the lives of innocent people. In the video, an informant sends police to the wrong apartment, which results in one reckless Black cop accidentally shooting and killing a young Black kid.
The rest of the video follows the cop as he is being chased through the streets of New York City by the ghosts of his crime. As Monch passionately recites the song’s lyrics, in particular, the line “One day the people gonna clap,” the ghosts stand around the police officer clapping until he slowly loses his mind.
As much as the video to the song is about police brutality and misconduct, it is also about guilt. And as the cop finds himself surrounded by these clapping ghosts, we get to see the real consequence of one’s transgressions.
I think of this video whenever there is a story in the media about the one who shall remain nameless.
You know who I’m talking about.
The lunatic who makes the news every few months for testing the patience of not just Black people, but decent people nationwide. This time around, he allegedly retweeted an image of Trayvon Martin’s dead body. And then, after being called out on it, he went on a wild Twitter rant, spewing racist sh*t and being an all-around horrible human being.
Sure, this certainly does not sound like a man who possesses a shred of remorse for his crime, or even a conscience. But don’t let the Twitter fingers fool you: This man is paying for his crimes every single day.
And just to be clear, this is not an essay, which seeks to censure our justified hatred or secure undeserved sympathy for him. Seriously, a person who gets off basically torturing the family of the child he got away with murdering doesn’t deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt from the rest of humanity.
But as incensed and hurt as I am by what he does publicly, I don’t for a second believe that the one who shall remain nameless is not privately getting his just deserts.
You know why?
Although he has not spent a single day in prison and is still walking around undead and breathing God’s free air, the one who shall remain nameless is being haunted by his crimes every single day.
Since his acquittal in 2013, the one who shall remain nameless has found himself in a string of arrests and unfortunate events.
There was the time when he threatened his estranged wife Shellie and her father. There was the time when he was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault after he allegedly pointed a shotgun in the face of then-girlfriend Samantha Scheibe. There was the time when the one who shall remain nameless threatened to shoot a man during a road rage incident. And then there was the time when he was charged with assault for throwing a wine bottle at a woman in his home in Florida.
Then there was the time he was almost shot in the face. Call it karma or the law of attraction or even the plot line to Final Destination, but clearly trouble is viciously after the one who shall remain nameless.
And yes, I understand that despite his continued legal issues, he always manages to get away with his criminal acts. White supremacy is a tough beast to get one over on. However, those troubles are proof that his life is not going in the right direction. And last year, the one who shall remain nameless told Univision that although he was found not guilty, he “continues to pay for the incident,” that “incident” being killing Trayvon Martin. And not only does he owe more than $2 million to his attorneys, but he is also unable to find steady work.
You know why? Because he is the one who shall remain nameless.
And everywhere he goes he is reminded that he is a killer. And it isn’t just Black people doing the reminding as even the most casual of racist White people are not trying to be around that loose canon. Nobody wants him around.
In fact, his Twitter mentions are full of daily reminders of just how much the world hates him. I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I don’t know if I could mentally survive a crowd of people hitting me up every single day just to say “We hate you.” And judging by his constant ranting, I would say he is not handling it very well either.
Even the racist White people who want to be around him only desire to be in his company because he serves as a sociopolitical linchpin. They don’t exactly care about him or respect him as a person, no matter how much he wraps his half-brown self in the Confederate flag.
Although he is probably one of the most notorious non-celebrity citizens in America, he has not been able to flip his notoriety into anything beyond minimum-wage appearances at right-wing gun shops. Hell, he hasn’t even been able to get a part-time gig over at Fox News. And they exploited the heck out of him.
The truth is, the 15 minutes of “fame” of the one who shall remain nameless are winding down. And soon he won’t be able to profit emotionally off of the attention he gets from the media for saying inflammatory things. And once he stops being relevant, even his “supporters” will drop him as their pet project and move on to another cultural linchpin.
Nope, there are no happy endings waiting for the one who shall remain nameless. Just like that killer cop in the “Clap” video, the only thing he has to look forward to is spending the rest of his life being haunted and slowly murdered by the ghosts of the crime(s) he committed.