By// Mariah Craddick
Chicago rapper Chief Keef is hardly a man known for peace. For one, Keef is currently on probation for allegedly pointing a gun at a police officer back in 2011 and was just released from jail on a probation violation. Two, the lyrical content in his music glorifies violence which has raised concern with many people given his ties to Chicago, and the city’s alarming homicide rate.
So when Keef’s picture appeared as a part of an anti-violence campaign’s Instagram feed in support of the cause, many were left scratching their heads.
According to NBCChicago.com, Bryant Cross, the creator of the program called the 500campaign, posted the photo on the feed after it was sent to him by someone that claimed to have Keef’s blessing. Cross then added the campaign’s slogan “Angry Because Over 500 Youth Were Murdered in Chicago” to the photo. Amidst immediate criticism, Cross took the photo down but then re-posted it a day later with his reasoning for keeping the photo there.
“Chief Keef and brothers like him are the ones we should be engaging,” he told NBCChicago.com. “If you can’t look at a photo and not be hostile – there’s no hope. We have to be able to engage everyone, not just the people we like.”
The 500campaign asks Chicagoans to email Cross their head shots so that he can add the slogan to post on the Instagram. On June 10th, he plans to hold an anti-violence rally and “a day when nobody in Chicago gets killed.”