Hey Lil Wayne, Racism Still Exists
Typically my pull-out game is a little slow when it’s time to stop fooling with Black people. I’m not a fan of playing the “woke Olympics,” so I don’t make it a practice of denouncing a Black celebrity as soon as they reveal their problematic thoughts.
Truth is we all still have room to grow. But for some of us you can give them time, the Autobiography of Malcolm X, play Jesse William’s BET speech on repeat, and flood them with Nina Simone’s soul-stirring songs and they will still proclaim “All lives Matter.” For Black celebrities like Kanye West and Cam Newton, their perception of social justice issues is in direct correlation to the amount of wealth and access they obtain. The more they obtain, they less they perceive social injustice to be a problem in America.
Recently, Lil Wayne added himself to this list. During an interview on Fox Sports’ Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, Wayne discussed his public feud with Birdman and the tweets that lead fans to believe a retirement from rap could be near.
To the relief of fans, Wayne said he was simply emotional at the time when he hinted at quitting rap, but he doesn’t actually have plans to retire. A collective “whew” circulated around Black Twitter from the hip-hop heads, but the good vibes didn’t last long, particularly when he started talking about racism.
When asked about a show in Westchester, New York that had a mostly White audience, Weezy used to declare racism is dead.
“I thought that was clearly a message that there was no such thing as racism,” Wayne said before claiming millennials aren’t racist because “it’s not cool to them.”
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) September 13, 2016
While some fans are scratching their head and saying, “NOT YOU TOO,” I can’t say I’m surprised.
It seems like many Black celebrities relocate to the mythical land of post-racial America once they earn enough money and status—a land the rest of us have never visited. But I think Kanye lives there, and apparently, he’s taken Lil Wayne with him.
Though I don’t know the way to the Post-Racial Promised Land, I do know a few things you need to pack in order to get there. You definitely need a large amount of White fans and money. It would probably speed things up if you packed mayo, too, but I’m not sure. You also need a huge platform and access to spaces where you hardly see any other Black people. And if you do see other Black folks there they’re probably an assistant, or someone you brought along to cater to your needs. At least that’s what I got from Wayne’s appearance on the Undisputed, but I’m not sure. You might want to confirm with Richard Sherman.
What I am certain about is that when some of our Black celebrities, even the ones we defend AGAINST racists, start to acquire an increase in wealth and White acceptance they suddenly believe racism doesn’t exist anymore. In the case of Wayne, I can’t decide if I should feel sorry for him, be angry with him, or attempt to educate him. Life is hard to Black folks after all, so I try to be softer with us. As a result I’m going to offer Wayne an olive branch in the form of a little education.
Wayne, beloved, YOUR access to White spaces, money and White acceptance doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with the live and kicking systemic racism that still plagues the America the rest of us live in. I know you see White people at your shows, but just because your fans love our culture doesn’t mean they love YOU. Even YOUR tatted face could end up on a poster held by a protester one day while your killer gets paid leave from work. So smarten up and come on back, beloved. It’s not too late.