Bernie Sanders' Campaign Just Broke Up Public Enemy

Source - Public Enemy announced they are permanently “moving forward” without Flavor Flav, firing one of hip-hop’s most memorable hypemen after more than 35 years. The abrupt dismissal comes just two days after the rapper sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bernie Sanders over Chuck D’s concert at the campaign’s Los Angeles rally Sunday.

“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the hip-hop legends said in a brief statement Sunday. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.” ...

The cease-and-desist letter, sent to Sanders Friday by Flavor Flav’s lawyer Matthew Friedman, accused the campaign of using the hypeman’s “unauthorized likeness, image, and trademarked clock” to promote the rally, even though Flavor Flav “has not endorsed any political candidate. ...

"The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy. Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is. There is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.

“Flav … has not endorsed any political candidate in this election cycle.… The continued publicizing of this grossly misleading narrative is, at a minimum, careless and irresponsible if not intentionally misleading,” Friedman added in the letter. “It is unfortunate that a political campaign would be so careless with the artistic integrity of such iconoclastic figures in American culture.”

In a handwritten note at the bottom of the cease-and-desist, Flavor Flav wrote to Sanders, “Hey Bernie, don’t do this.”

What a sad, sad day this is. In 1988, Public Enemy said "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back." In 2020 they're saying "We Can Be Ripped Apart by a 78-Year-Old Vermont Socialist With a Heart Full of Stints." 

Think about poor Flavor Flav here. That handwritten plea to Sanders not to get him kicked out of the band he's been with for over 30 years just breaks your heart. I watched "The Surreal Life" and "Strange Love." And it was obvious by the way he looked at Brigette Nielsen, he's a hopeless romantic. Then after they split up, "Flavor of Love" spent three amazing seasons exploring America's favorite Black-chelor's personal journey for a true soulmate. Preferably one with a soft chest. You can't take a sensitive, caring soul like this and just discard him over, of all things, politics.

Even if it's not Bernie's fault directly, it's a terrible look. The country is divided enough as it is. We need politicians who'll unify us, not tear us further apart. Or tear apart our beloved cultural institutions. So policies aside, it's a little disingenuous to go around saying you'll be good for the country when you've just done to Public Enemy what Yoko did to The Beatles. 

This is just another reason for the rest of us who care about our nation to hate politics. Like we needed one. Here's a band that has survived almost everything a band can go through. Controversies about their lyrics. Charges of anti-Semitism. Being denounced for associating with Louis Farrakhan. That time Chuck D. did a video where he was gunning down politicians in Arizona for not supporting Martin Luther King Day. Alleged homophobia. Plus the tours and the parties and women that have historically broken up even the tightest knit groups. Only to be done in by a presidential campaign. They survived everything except the feel of The Bern.

Far be it for me to tell anyone who they should vote for. But with my state's primary coming up tomorrow, if Bernie Sanders - or any candidate really - wants my vote, they need to bring these guys back together. That's a true test of leadership. Because how can you claim you're fit to negotiate with China and Russia when you can't reunite Chuck D. and Flavor Flav. Get on it, candidates. You've got 24 hours to prove you're presidential material.