Race and police brutality have been intertwined in the nation—even before the deaths of black people T.I. lists at the end of his “Warzone” video. Inspired by police-related incidents involving Tamir Rice, Philandro Castle, and Eric Garner—the rapper takes on a high-profile issue of police corruption interestingly using black cops and white victims.
“Can’t you see we livin’ in a war zone?/ Guess you don’t notice when you livin’ in it/ Like every weekend it’s a man down”
The white boys and men who star in the video act like your typical Americans. They play at the playground, drive their loved ones around, and hang out outside the local cornerstore—all until they are met with violence. Black cops surround them, pull them over, put them in a chokehold, and/or shoot them.
The video artistically ends with a white woman seeking a seat on a bus filled completely with black people. After no one allows her to sit next to them, she is forced to the back of the bus. As she takes a seat, TIP. displays his list of victims of police brutality before a famous audio clip of activist Jane Elliot interrupts his song. “If you white folks want to be treated the way blacks are in this society – stand! Nobody is standing here. That says very plainly that you know what’s happening. You know you don’t want it for you. I want to know why you are so willing to accept it or to allow it to happen for others.”
The team behind “Warzone” includes director Laureal Richardson and Antwanette McLaughlin. Fans flooded T.I. with comments to his twist on recent events in America. They called the video powerful and shared similar experiences portrayed. Others pointed out names missing from his list. Regardless, the video attracted a discussion on the injustices and and corruption among a flawed system embedded in our nation.