Kendrick Lamar’s Billboard 100 Comments on Ferguson and More

“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.”

Before I dissect Kendrick’s comments, let us stop acting as if Kendrick Lamar is a Johnathan Gentry; he isn’t. I respect Kendrick as an artist and as a person, but his comments were inaccurate to a degree. Yes self-reflection is important, but let’s not pretend or misdirect what is really happening here. Black Americans are not disrespected on a daily basis, because a few do not respect themselves or the rich heritage they come from. We’ve been disrespected and marginalized since slavery became a legal institution exclusively towards Black Americans by 1650. We’ve been disrespected and marginalized, since the days of Jim Crow and Tulsa Oklahoma. It is completely disingenuous for anyone to say Black Americans aren’t being treated properly under the law, because a few do not think more of themselves.

In addition to that it is also not rational to rationalize unconstitutional behavior by pointing at someone else’s self-loathing. It is like saying a victim needs to look within themselves to figure out why they are being victimized. How about the victimizer delve in this self-reflection as well? Anyone who knows me know I am about self-empowerment and leaving excuses to the waist side. That means I will also not accept failure from my community, but I will not defend, rationalize or legitimize others spitting on my community.

Now I will leave off with a great song from Kendrick, because I do love myself!

Favorite Verse

[Verse 3]
I went to war last night
With an automatic weapon, don’t nobody call a medic
I’ma do it till I get it right

I went to war last night
I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent

Duckin’ every other blessin’, I can never see the message
I could never take the lead, I could never bob and weave
From a negative and letting them annihilate me
And it’s evident I’m moving at a meteor speed

Finna run into a building, lay my body in the street
Keep my money in the ceiling, let my mama know I’m free
Give my story to the children and a lesson they can read
And the glory to the feeling of the holy unseen
Seen enough, make a motherfucker scream, “I love myself!”

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  1. Kendrick Lamar’s The Blacker The Berry Review | Sincere Ignorance

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