Helter Skelter: The Charles Manson Mix Tape on Racism

 “Look out… Helter Skelter… She’s coming down fast… Yes she is”-The Beatles

 Charles Manson was quoted as saying: “I am not of this generation”; a statement that is perhaps more poignant than ever when I began to research this blog entry. You may ask what does Charles Manson have to do with a mixtape and why would I dare relate this to racism as both topics certainly seem foreign to one another. Yes foreign may be a proper term used to describe my title, however that does not mean that the subject matters are exclusive to themselves. In fact they are more relatable than you may think. In spite of being well renowned for leading his “Manson Family” on a five week murderous tirade through California in 1969 that resulted in the deaths of nine people, Charles Manson was also a singer and a songwriter. Strangely enough some of his music has actually been covered by several musicians. But let me not digress as if I am campaigning for him to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Grammy review board, as this is more about Charles (Charles Milles Maddox) Manson’s mantra and not his music. My true reason behind writing this entry is to point out how Charles Manson may have not been of this current generation, but how his so-called “musical cause” may resonate more today than it did in the late 1960’s. You see the term Helter Skelter was derived from a Beatles song about a British amusement park ride, however Charles Manson who had been prophesizing a racial war many years prior to Helter Skelter’s release, believed that the Beatles were in fact singing about the ascension of blacks and the dissension whites within the class system of society. Charles Manson contrived the idea of creating an album that would subconsciously trigger a race war, believing that fearful whites would look to go on a murderous rampage against blacks that would result in militant blacks retaliating in order to seek revenge for the venomous acts committed against their communities. Charles Manson believed that he would benefit from this war, as he would lie in wake of its end in order to seize the moment where he and his followers could then be in control and overtake society. So I ask was this man just merely insane or was he indeed a prophet just not of his own generation? We sit here in 2016 where there is an undeniable vibe based on the fear of lost power with a war of racial divide looming as its subplot. Of course it would be naïve to believe that every Caucasian person and every African-American person lives in an ignorant exile of horrible communication and disdain, as it would not explain a study done by Pew Research Center that shows an increase from 1% to 10% in multiracial baby births from 1970 to 2013, with the belief that this number would rapidly grow in the decades to come. So if there is in fact a fear of ascension that is setting a racial temperament incased in violence today, then I ask, who are today’s fear mongers? Who are the individuals listening to “MC Charlie-M” that has his record sales exceeding the likes of Marshall Mathers? We hear the oval office is to blame for divisive behavior, yet we never hear those same conspirators speak of candidates who freestyle controversial lyrics about race while on their campaign trail tours coming to a city near you. Is this the new “Hyp-Hop” (hypocritical music) which is a desperate ploy geared towards preserving power of certain individuals? Maybe Charles Manson was not of his generation, but he did speak for the leftovers from his generation that live in our modern times. His musical cause is indeed controversial, but that does not mean it is untrue. Helter Skelter is an amusement park ride, but it is also the manifest of a madman who today still has followers of his Manson Family values. The lyrics stated: “Look out…Helter Skelter…She’s coming down fast”. Well maybe this is an ode to the world we live in today, because morally we are falling fast and race is still yet a prevalent theme in a society that continues to deal with the ills of oppression. Maybe all we do need is love as the Beatles stated or perhaps we need to acknowledge that even the criminally insane like Charles Manson still have people who are willing to carry out his musical mantra. #did I kill anyone?-Charles Manson  

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