Tag Archives: Azealia Banks

Why Kendrick Lamar is Wrong about Ferguson

11 Jan

KENDRICKOh Kendrick, I love you much. But you let us down.

When discussing the situation in Ferguson in his recent Billboard interview, the Compton rapper said,

“I wish somebody would look in our neighborhood knowing that it’s already a situation, mentally, where it’s f—ed up. What happened to [Michael Brown] should’ve never happened. Never. But when we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don’t start with just a rally, don’t start from looting — it starts from within.”

Ugh… Kendrick, Why?

Black people, PLEASE—we really need to let go of this “respect ourselves before they respect us” argument. It’s loaded with respectability politics and reeks of internalized racism.

Need I remind everyone that we are human beings, and therefore should be treated with a certain level of respect. You know—the same amount of respect a white man would receive if he was standing outside trying to break up a fight. Or the same amount of respect a white, skittle-loving, hoodie-wearing teenager would receive if he were walking through his neighborhood.

Yes, I know we are not white and therefore, are not afforded certain privileges. But we don’t have to co-opt the white supremacist thinking that niggers are niggers until they act a certain way. Because even if you are the most “respectable” person in the world, if your skin is not white, you’re still going to be followed by sales clerks in certain stores, you’re still going to face a certain amount of racism from ignorant people you meet in the world, and you still may have run-ins with the police that you would not have had if your skin was white.

Respectable or not, some people still discriminate based on color. And that’s what we need to be fighting against. Kendrick needs to point his finger at institutionalized racism, police brutality, and discriminative legislation, not at the people who are on the receiving end of this broken, racist system.

Also, who ever said that Black people don’t respect themselves? Please, inform me—cuz I really would like to know:

Aren’t the millions of Black parents who work hard so that their children can have even more fulfilling lives respecting themselves?

Aren’t the rising number of Black women getting degrees respecting themselves?

Aren’t the hundreds of thousands of Black people marching, demonstrating, dying-in, and demanding change in a failing justice system respecting themselves?

Anyone who believes that Black people do not respect themselves needs to turn off those housewife shows, leave their couches, and join the nearest #BlackLivesMatter protest in their area.

Some people look at certain situations and mainstream media, and then turn to tell Black people to respect themselves. Meanwhile, no one is looking at Honey Boo Boo, and then running to tell white people that they need to respect themselves.

Respectability politics does not work to our benefit y’all. We need to stop embracing it.

 

I want to hear your opinions. Drop some knowledge in the comments section below.

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