Artists such as T.I., Lauryn Hill, J. Cole and G-Unit have expressed outrage over the recent occurrences in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York. In an effort to bring more awareness to these issues, they have turned to music to voice their opinions on the events and ask their fans to think about the senseless killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. With footage just released yesterday of what appears to be another senseless killing of 25 year old Kajieme Powell by St. Louis Police Department, it seems as though the protests and rallies have done nothing to foster change within the conduct of officers when it comes to detaining individuals suspected of committing crimes. In an open letter, T.I. asks people to look at the history of people of color in America and attempts to make a correlation between past and current injustices.
T.I.'s Open Letter
Look at us….America has created a monster. The result of ignoring & mishandling an already fragile spirited, recently enslaved, presently oppressed race/generation of people. Look at us. We’re the monster that now refuses to be dismissed, overlooked and ignored. We were brought to this place, unaware of our own cultures, religion & traditions therefore, we created our own. Now look at us.
For years we’ve been crying out for the nation to address the substandard education systems & disparaging treatment of our citizens in communities across America. Our people have had an increasing lack of opportunities for generations. There have been homes broken, lives shattered and futures lost on your watch….unanswered. Look at us. How long can u expect a nation/race/generation of people to be blatantly disrespected? Spoken to and treated with arrogant tones of insignificance. Our fathers, uncles, brothers and role models were killed and imprisoned more often than educated. Now look at us. Our friends and relatives murdered and cast aside without thought, as though your human life is more valuable than ours. How long can that go on without consequence? Now Look at us.
How long can u continue to pass the buck & make excuses of why u can’t do today what should have been done yeste-year? Although I DO NOT support the negative responses & actions of my people in light of this tragedy….I WILL NOT condone your lack of effort to show any urgency to improve the treatment of our people, nor the living conditions in our communities. Your refusal to address these life altering issues makes events such as these seem inevitable. Although I too am at fault to a degree and I admit that I may not have all da answers… I do have a fun fact for you. Insanity is…Going about things the same way, expecting a different result. U wanna different result? U must take different action. What else do u expect? Look at us!!!
Clifford “T.I.” Harris
Rapper, Actor, CEO, Father
Hip Hop Responds to Ferguson
T.I. : New National Anthem
G-Unit: Ahh S#@T
J. Cole: Be Free
Lauryn Hill: Black Rage