Lil Wayne was on an Instagram Live with Fat Joe when he addressed the death of Minnesota resident George Floyd. Floyd died earlier this week when officer Derek Chauvin held a knee to his neck until he was unresponsive.
“I think when we see these situations, I think we also have to understand that we have to get very specific. … And what I mean by that is we have to stop viewing it with such a broad view, meaning we have to stop placing the blame on the whole force and the whole everybody or a certain race or everybody with a badge,” Wayne said during the IG Live chat.
Wayne continued: “We have to actually get into who that person is. And if we want to place the blame on anybody, it should be ourselves for not doing more than what we think we’re doing.”
There are a couple problems with Wayne’s analysis that we need to get specific and hone in on. This isn’t a one-off incident. There is a long, long list of names of black people who have unjustly been killed by police like Sandra Bland, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, and Eric Garner. Dating back to forever, there have been officers killing unarmed black people and getting away with it. It’s clearly a systemic issue, and the entire system needs to come under fire and be totally revamped.
The conversation continued when Joe asked if he was insinuating that following through was more important than starting the action. Wayne seemed to pivot away from the “don’t blame the system” approach he originally stated.
“It’s actually learning about it,” he said. “What we need to do is we need to learn about it more. If we wanna scream about something, know what we’re screaming about. If we wanna protest about something, know what we’re protesting about. Because if we wanna get into it, there’s a bunch of facts that we think we know that we don’t know. … We scream about things that, sometimes, they really ain’t true.”
I think there is some irony in Wayne’s statements here. He criticizes people on the basis that they are blaming the entire system, the police department here, then turns around and basically discredits the legitimacy of the entire protest by saying they don’t really know what they are protesting.
I’m not one to look to celebrities for social advice, and this is precisely why.