A$AP Rocky might have to eat his words now that his comments on police brutality from a debate at Oxford University in London surfaced. The At. Long. Last. A$AP rapper was asked by a participant at Oxford Union, the world’s top debating society, about his thoughts on the recurring incidents of police brutality in America, and Rocky believes that the Black community should focus more on Black-on-Black crime rather than rogue police officers who occasionally kill Black people.
“Why are we exploiting the beef between the urban community and police officers when in all reality during Memorial [Day] weekend, 60-some odd people were shot just on a Friday and Saturday? Sixty-some odd people in one weekend in Chicago… black-on-black crime. One cop shoots a black person, let’s march. Let’s protest, let’s promote our mixtapes on TV, and all that. You know what I mean? ‘Cuz that’s what they’re doing. I feel like if you’re not going to talk about the main topic, don’t talk about it at all. We [black people] have to do something first, and it’s within us internally. We can’t blame the police officers. That kind of sh-t is inevitable…
“I don’t justify cops killing kids. That’s so messed up, because there are guilty cops out there. There are cops who take advantage of their authority, but that’s been going on. That’s nothing new. Why now? Why are we glorifying it now?… What are we really hiding? If we’re going to talk about that, let’s talk about the black people killing black people? So if nobody wants to talk about that, neither do I.”
Rocky also stated that he doesn’t feel the need to really talk about police brutality in his music or otherwise, because it’s not his lane and he doesn’t want to talk about it just because other rappers, like Kendrick Lamar, do.
“I don’t feel like anyone is obligated to talk about that kind of stuff unless they want to. I don’t feel like everybody has to be like Kendrick or talk about political things just to try to stand out… For me, I wasn’t there when [the police brutality incidents] occurred, on top of that, I didn’t go to any marches. I didn’t go to any protests. So, for me, I can’t speak on it because I’m not helping to change it. I didn’t figure out a way through my art if I felt like it was something I should talk about, but I don’t feel like I have a need to.”
Okay, so there are a few holes in Rocky’s statement. Police brutality among people of color is a real problem. And in the cases of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice – the list could really go on – all were unarmed and the situations didn’t warrant death, not in the least bit.
Crimes committed against Black people by Black people are just as high as crimes committed against white people by white people.
Honestly, if Rocky didn’t want to talk about police brutality, he didn’t have to have a convoluted answer to justify the topic. He could have just left it alone like he always does.