“Nelly ain’t had the answers since Murphy Lee asked what da hook gon’ be. Stop asking him questions.” – @DeolaCola
Rapper Nelly, who’s a proud Missourian, has recently come under fire for his delayed response to the police slaying of an unarmed black teen, Mike Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri.
For starters, Nelly responded to the issue five days late, and once he did find the time to respond (in between tweeting pictures of Cheerios), his response was criticism aimed at the protestors in Ferguson, citing his belief that they were “over-reacting” and basically doing it all wrong.
He further minimized the murder of Mike Brown, stating “Ain’t nothing happen no different that hasn’t been happening. At the end of the day, we should have waited to strategize first and take all the right steps to organize.”
He was backed up by Atlanta’s TI, who said “We should have waited to see if justice was going to be served first. We shouldn’t have played our strongest hand first.”
Perhaps TI and Nelly need a reminder that justice delayed is justice denied.
There’s been no arrest of the officer; the only response the public has received from police has been a smear campaign against the victim in the shooting, in a desperate attempt to criminalize the college-bound young man, painting a picture of a young thug who somehow deserved to die for allegedly stealing from a convenience store. (Why are we even talking about this, seriously?)
The police have done next to nothing to foster an environment of healing in Ferguson. Police presence in Ferguson wasn’t about crowd control, but instead crowd disbursement, as they sought to intimidate the citizens of Ferguson, showing up in riot gear, with tanks, snarling canines, and assault rifles…all in all, with more tactical equipment than U.S. soldiers deployed to Iraq. More military equipment than U.S. combat veterans have reported being given in Iraq. Not only did they show up militarized, but they violated civil rights, forcing residents to abide by a curfew (before Governor Nixon even declared one, no less), arrested and harassed journalists for absolutely no reason, and illegally told civilians and journalists alike to stop recording.
If this is their response under scrutiny, when the whole world is watching and capturing footage, just what in the hell do you think Mike Brown was up against when he crossed paths with Officer Darren Wilson that fateful day?
By the way, for the record: America’s track record at attempting justice for the killers of black men and women sucks. Black death comes served with a side of impunity in America, not justice–partially because of people like you, who are so nonchalantly accepting of what goes on that you turn to the other cheek and say “Oh well, this is to be expected; it’s nothing new.” (Or justify it with stats about black on black crime; here’s looking at you, with the only side-eye, B.o.B.)
Four unarmed black men died at the hands of police officers this last month alone.
F-ck that, Nelly. Seriously, f-ck that. You want us to keep calm and carry on, because this is “nothing new?” That’s the problem, Nelly. This is nothing new.
LaVena Johnson, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Kimani Gray, Sean Bell, Jonathan Ferrell, Kendrick “KJ” Johnson.
These are the young black men and women whom I can name off the top of my head, within 15 seconds, who are still waiting for justice. Imagine all of those who haven’t made national headlines–and trust, they’re out there.
In some of these cases, like Kimani Gray’s, the officers/individuals involved were never even criminally charged. In other cases, like the murder of Sean Bell, they were found not guilty. And, as we all well know from the trials of George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn, the murderers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, just because the killer has been charged doesn’t guarantee justice will be served.
In other cases, like that of LaVena Johnson and KJ Johnson (no relation), the fact that a murder has even taken place is vehemently denied by public officials, who ruled LaVena’s murder a “suicide” and KJ Johnson’s killing “an accident.” You know, because LaVena Johnson shot and killed herself with an M-16 nearly as big as her, in the head, with her non-dominant hand, and set herself on fire, and broke her own bones….just like KJ Johnson fell victim to blunt force trauma all on his own, and then tightly wrapped himself up in a wrestling mat at school. Yeah. Seems legit, doesn’t it?
LaVena Johnson’s family has been waiting for justice since 2005, by the way.
I understand your position about wanting to “do things right”–but how, exactly, can the protestors “do things right”? Your criticism of these people–who are out on the ground and at the frontlines, while you’re in Finland and tweeting about Cheerios–is null and void, especially when it’s not even constructive. It ceased to be constructive the minute you opened your mouth and failed to offer suggestions for improvement.
Twitter users, led by @FeministaJones, strategized and created a series of gatherings across the entire country, in more than 90 cities of 35 states, coast to coast, called #NMOS14. Do you have any idea what kind of effort and strategizing that takes? Others have crowd funded to raise money for the food banks (over $30,000 a few days ago), knowing the economic status of the area under siege, to ensure that kids don’t go hungry due to the elongated summer that’s been forced upon them due to the protests. Let’s not forget the protestors who nobly banded together to protect local storefronts and businesses from looters.
The people who are making a difference in this world–“strategic” enough for you or not–deserve to be commended, not criticized.
If your apathy, passivity, and criticism is all you have to bring to the conversation, then please, by all means, return to obscurity.
I guess this is why you’re rapping about Cheerios these days.