In an interview with Bloomberg Politics, Wu-tang Clan member and music producer RZA decided to reveal how he has become an elitist who is obviously out of touch with the plight of the black community. The intent of the interview was to discuss, “disgraced pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, who bought the only copy of the band’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” album.” However, during the interview, he was asked what he thinks about the Black Lives Matter movement, and he responded, “Of course black lives matter. All lives matter. I stopped eating meat because their life matter to me.”
Unfortunately, RZA and racist cops have one thing in common; they both have reduced black lives to those of animals. There is currently a trend of police officers gunning down unarmed, non-threatening black people, slaughtering them one by one like animals in the street. Depriving black people of their human right to live is the catalyst that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. And a black man who grew up in the same streets where police officers profiled, discriminated against, and harassed black youth, has the temerity to suggest his thoughts about the movement are that black lives matter just as much as animal flesh.
And if that wasn’t disturbing enough, RZA addressed respectability politics and revealed how he has been assimilated into the mainstream culture by suggesting what the black youth should “dress like” to avoid being a possible threat to white police officers.
“But when you think about, you know, some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you know what I mean, you also gotta have them take a look in the, us take a look in the mirror at the image that we portray. If I’m a cop, and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch him on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out and they not looking, you know, properly dressed, properly defined, you know, carrying themself, conducting themself at proper hours of the day; things that a man does. You know what I mean? You’re gonna have a certain kinda of fear and stereotype of them.”
One of the main issues with RZA’s perspective is that he is one of the many rappers that set the standard of dress code by which most of black youth live by to the date. And now it appears that he’s victim blaming by suggesting, “It’s your [blacks] fault that you are being killed by cops because your clothes are scary.”
“The image that we portray that can invoke a fear into a white officer or to any officer.”
The fact is that dressing “better” is relative, and definitely won’t prevent a black person from being a victim of white supremacy. Furthermore, it is hypocritical for RZA to advise the youth to avoid going out in “hoodies” and to “button up [their] shirts, you know, clean up,” when the products in the WuTang clothing line are hoodies and definitely don’t include any of the button up shirts that he suggests may prevent police officers from being “scared” and feeling “threatened.”
Regardless of how black people dress, they deserve respect, and to have their rights honored as citizens and humans. If a police officer is intimidated by urban wear, then the issue is with him; not a black man’s hoodie.
Nevertheless, below is a list of examples to show RZA that it doesn’t matter how much “better” a black man dresses. White supremacy will always prevail over respectability politics.
1.) Dr. Henry Louis Gates
Harvard professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates was arrested as a result of complaints that he was breaking into his own home in Cambridge, Massachussetts.
2.) James Blake
Ex-tennis star James Blake was tackled and arrested by a plainclothes white cop after supposedly being mistaken for another “black man” who was a suspect in a credit card sting that was taking place. I guess all black men look alike.
3.) John Feller
Michigan resident John Feller was pulled over by an Ohio cop while driving his brother to a birthday party and was told the reason he was stopped was because he had made ‘direct eye contact’ with the officer.
Danny Glover was pulled over by a New York City cop that claimed Glover wasn’t wearing his seat belt. However, he spoke about the racial profiling at Albertus Magnus College, stating, “[the officer] has really good vision” to be able to notice his “lack” of seatbelt usage at night.
You can also contribute to Racism In America by purchasing any or all of the books below to read when you’re not fighting against racism. The books were written and self-published by the authors of Racism In America, so please show your support to them. Thank you in advance!
Remember, don’t hesitate to join the internet’s only online forum that REFUSES to be intimidated and silenced by America’s wealth of hate, oppression, and injustice. Subscribe