In a recent interview on Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, the rapper discusses politics and his support for a Hillary Clinton candidacy. However, he is drawing criticism for his comments on the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality.
“Of course black lives matter,” RZA told Bloomberg. “All lives matter. I stopped eating meat because their lives matter to me. I don’t think it’s necessary for us to grow a cow to kill it.”
For RZA, the racial justice concerns on which the movement for black lives was built could be equated to preserving the lives of animals we eat.
But he also went on to espouse a respectability politics, advising people to focus on what they wear to avoid police brutality:
“When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look, in the mirror, at the image we portray. If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day—things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them. I tell my sons, I say, if you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie—we live in New York, so a hoodie and all that is all good. But sometimes, you know, button up your shirt. Clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid, you know what I mean? I think that’s another big issue we gotta pay attention to. Is the image that we portray that could invoke a fear into a white officer, or to any officer.”
In a bizarre twist to begin 2016 RZA says the problem with police brutality is an image problem.
What do you think?
Photo credit: Bloomberg video screenshot