Davey D Presents “Hip-hop, Media & Social Justice”


Hip-hop journalist Davey D presented “Hip-hop, Media & Social Justice,” marking the start of the spring Social Justice series at the college. (Photo credit: Diablo Valley College)

Cheasanee Hetherington, Staff member

Hip-hop journalist Davey D greeted a packed audience in the Diablo Room earlier this month as he presented “Hip-hop, Media & Social Justice,” marking the start of the spring Social Justice series at the college.

Students and faculty crowded in, leaving standing room only as Davey D played “Racial Facial” by Jeff Adachi, the San Francisco public defender who died in February 2019. The video depicted various kinds of propaganda used to dehumanize populations throughout American history.

“What we’re seeing are two-dimensional caricatures of a whole population,” said Davey D. 

According to him, dehumanizing depictions used by the media are often purposeful. Companies are constantly fighting for consumers’ hearts and minds, and whether it’s politically or financially motivated, he said, the media always has an agenda. 

“Most wars are won because you get into the mind of the people you want to conquer,” he said.

To combat the suppression and manipulation of social media, Davey D encouraged the audience to tell their own stories.

“Any of us on social media are journalists,” he said. Rap is one method of critiquing social media, he added, because it provides a space where the other side of the story can be told.

“We’ve been raised to think the media is objective, but its never been objective,” Davey D added. As a result, it’s the responsibility of the reader to do their research and find both sides of the story.

These days, that happens in good part through social media, which has become increasingly prominent among college students. According to a 2018 Pew Research survey, 88 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds use social media.

Additionally, about two-thirds of Americans are using social media as a news source.

After the presentation, DVC student Jonathan Lambert expressed concern over social media usage. Although he rarely uses social media, he said he worries for his family.

“My little sister says she feels dehumanized using social media.”

DVC student Kaitlin Dey, president of Students of Color United, also expressed unease about the use of social media and agreed that the topic needed more coverage.

“Media is a really powerful tool to uplift or erase the truth,” she said.