Never ask a rapper about race. It’s clearly the only stance that needs to be taken after a week of asinine comments about racism made by two rappers.
Fresh off the heels of winning an Oscar and a Golden Globe for the song “Glory,” which was featured in Selma, Common made an appearance on The Daily Show, and when the subject of racism in America came up, Common gave one of the unlikeliest responses his fans could have imagined.
The Chicago native suggested that it was up to black people to extend a hand to white people and “forget about the past” when it comes to racism.
Apparently Common forgot he was just in a movie about the civil rights movement.
Apparently Common doesn’t watch the news and notice the number of unarmed black men being shot and killed by white police.
Apparently Common is what we now refer to as a “new black.”
Common had even more comments about racism and how we should just be able to move on with the help of … love.
“If we’ve been bullied, we’ve been beat down and we don’t want it anymore. We are not extending a fist and we are not saying, ‘You did us wrong.’ It’s more like, ‘Hey, I’m extending my hand in love,’” he said to Jon Stewart. “Let’s forget about the past as much as we can and let’s move from where we are now. How can we help each other? Can you try to help us, because we are going to try to help ourselves, too."
He then went on to compare dwelling on past racism to dwelling on past relationships and bad breakups.
“Me as a black man, I’m not sitting there like, ‘Hey, white people, y’all did us wrong.’ We know that existed,” Common said. “I don’t even have to keep bringing that up. It’s like being in a relationship and continuing to bring up the person’s issues. Now I’m saying, ‘Hey, I love you. Let’s move past this. Come on, baby, let’s get past this.’”
Whatever happened to fist in the air and the revolutionary Lonnie Rashid Lynn? They say Hollywood and money changes people, but damn. Does it change you so much that you forget what people are still fighting for to this day?
Those marches in Selma, Ala., have turned into marches in Ferguson, Mo. Marches in Staten Island, N.Y. And now marches in Charlottesville, Va.
Racism is not going to end because black people are reaching out with their hands in love. Does Lonnie not remember what happened when Martin Luther King Jr. attempted that? Does he remember anything about the movie he was in?
Black people are not the breeders and creators of racism. But maybe, if Common stays in Hollywood long enough, he’ll actually understand this when he loses a role to a white actor—not because he’s less talented but because he has more melanin. You may be light, but you sure ain’t white.
Then there’s this rapper that goes by the name of A$AP Ferg.
In an interview with NPR, Ferg had the audacity to state that racism is over. Why does Ferg think racism is over? Well, simply put, because of the Internet and the fact that his brother has sex with white chicks.
“We all the same. That’s what it is about this culture of the Internet,” Ferg theorized. “Is everything is merged. There’s no racism with the Internet. Racism only was—is probably, like, five generations ago. … Racism is for—I wouldn’t say generations. Yeah, like five generations ago. Racism been over. It’s the old people that keep on holding on to it. We don’t hold on to that s—t. We don’t know racism. We all like having—like, my brother had white—my little brother had white girlfriends. And that’s regular, like.”
In the words of my co-worker Kirsten West Savali, “Negro, please.”
This fool does not ever need to be asked any serious questions about race. You’d think someone his age would know that racism not only thrives on the Internet because of the anonymity of it all but is also embraced because of forums on popular sites like Reddit.
And let’s not talk about interracial dating. Especially when a black teen was recently hanged from a tree, allegedly because he was involved in an interracial relationship with an older white woman.
I’m not even going to touch upon Kanye West’s comments about race, because he’s been gone. Gone are the days of the West who said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
It seems as though some of these rappers have a huge disconnect when it comes to race. As their wallets get fatter, they throw on their rose-colored glasses and disconnect from everything that would throw present-day racial issues in their faces.
One quick scan of the news will show you that racism is still alive today. Ignoring it or trying to convince yourself that it’s gone isn’t going to make it disappear. When these black men receive their Negro wake-up calls, they’ll eventually take back everything they’ve said about this make-believe post-racial society they believe they live in.
Until then, stop asking rappers anything about race, since some of them have no idea what world they’re living in today.