The Best and the Worst in Men: How An Advocate For Suffering Women Serves Time in Prison For Raping a Woman   Leave a comment

Recently, I watched an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary. If you don’t know what those are, ESPN is in the process of producing 30 documentaries for 30 compelling stories over the past 30 years. The one I watched was “One Night in Vegas” which was directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood. The documentary followed the unique relationship between Tupac Amaru Shakur and Michael Gerard Tyson until the relationship abruptly ended after Tyson’s boxing match against Bruce Seldon. Tupac, on his way to a nightclub in Las Vegas, was shot four times and died five days later. I have always been a big fan of Tupac’s rap music (despite the excess of explicit language and imagery), and I found the documentary to be really interesting.

Interestingly, the thing that stuck me the most was the antithetical nature of two of his quotes in the documentary.

Tupac was a poet–an extremely talented one with great insights on society and the gang-culture in which he was immersed. In the song “Keep Ya Head Up,” Tupac had some lines that were sensitive to the needs and struggles of women. Here are some of his brilliant lines:

You know what makes me unhappy, what’s that?
When brothers make babies and leave a young mother to be a pappy.
And since we all came from a woman, got our name from a woman, and our game from a woman,
I wonder why we take from our women, why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women, time to heal our women, be real to our women.
And if we don’t, we’ll have a race of babies that will hate the ladies that make the babies.
And since a man can’t make one, he has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one.
So will the real men get up. I know you’re fed up, ladies, but keep ya head up.

Tupac, who released “Keep Ya Head Up” on October 28, 1993, was shortly thereafter, on November 18, 1993,  charged with raping a young woman. In his defense, Tupac said, “It’s not a crime for me to be with any girl I wanna be with. It’s a crime for that girl to turn that into a rape charge.Tupac was found guilty of one count of sexual abuse; he served four months in prison and five years of probation.

So, how does a guy go from advocating for the struggling woman one month to raping and sodomozing a woman the next month? Is Tupac merely a sex-crazed man out to rape every beautiful woman out there? Or is he a soul sensitive to the needs and struggles of the women around him? He’s both. And that’s what stood out to me–frankly, that’s what scared me. He’s both, and so am I… and so are you. At our best, mankind has shown a wonderful sense of compassion and empathy. However, at our worst, mankind is also capable of some of the world’s most sinister deeds.

And what struck me throughout the documentary was the numerous times that people referred to ‘Pac as a loose cannon and as highly combustible. Translated, it meant that he lacked discipline and self-control. I was reminded of the words in 1 Timothy 4:7: “[Discipline] yourself for the purpose of godliness.” The perseverance of the Christian is not merely about getting to a place where you want to love God and you want to do good. Since we have the Holy Spirit within us, He will always draw our hearts toward those things. However, we have our own sinful and selfish desires which compete, at time and oftentimes, with the godly desires implanted by the Spirit. Therefore, apart from discipline and self-control, we are always swaying back and forth from being an advocate to suffering women to being an agent of women’s suffering. We sway back and forth between love and compassion, and rape and abuse.

The Christian needs to marked by more than emotions for Jesus. He needs to have such affections toward Jesus that he is willing to control his life and discipline himself so that he would not be tempted to stray or have occasion to stumble. Here are some words from the greatest book of wisdom ever–Proverbs.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” (12:1)

“A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who regards reproof is sensible.” (15:5)

“He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.” (15:32)

“Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death.” (19:18)

“Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” (25:28)

So, the moral goes: Love the Lord your God with all your heart by loving Him enough to discipline your life in order to never stray from Him.

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Posted September 14, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

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