Here’s Why Joyner Lucas's New Visual and Song "I’m Not Racist" is Detrimental To Black Culture
While seeing other media outlets and sources quote Joyner Lucas's new song I’m not Racist as a game changer or as in the words of CNN “a brutal conversation nobody wants to have”, we had to take a listen and check out what the buzz has been about that’s got everybody’s attention.
…And might we add that we are happy that we took the time to check it out! After listening and watching the visual of Lucas's new project we’ve come to the conclusion that it is more detrimental to black culture and does more “putting off” than it does with helping and confronting racial issues and systemic oppression than anything.
For starters, in response to CNN, is this really a conversation that nobody wants to have? Or is it just a conversation that maybe racist right wing individuals and the like do not want to have? People of color and progressive white Americans who have stood beside African Americans throughout history and to this day have always been “talking about this”, or maybe its because the beginning of the visual and song starts off with a racist white American voicing his opinion on why he doesn’t have pity for inequality and the racial treatment of black people in this society—was this the safety net for those viewers who carried the same opinions to keep watching and listening? This isn’t a conversation that “nobody” wants to have. People have been talking about this; maybe some were just not listening.
I’m not Racist is an attempt to open people’s eyes to racism, but only digs such issues and the constant misconception of African American people in a deeper hole. It perpetuates the typical stereotypes of African Americans that not only some white Americans already perceive them to be, but also that some black Americans unconsciously submit to. Does all black culture amount to “the hood, absent black fathers, welfare, gun violence, Kool-Aid, fried chicken, 2PAC, 2Chains, etc.? Is this even the black culture? Or is it a painted idea of what people perceive black culture to be, but truly isn’t? African Americans and people of color come from a rich history of ancestors and cultural practices. African Americans come from success and prominent black figures. They come from an enriching cultural aesthetic that is constantly being mimicked and mocked. Where was this in the African American gentlemen’s second verse?
After sitting down and having an open dialogue with a few junkies and artist themselves we gave them the mic to express their thoughts on the song I’m Not Racist:
Like that’s all we’re fighting for? The right to eat fried chicken and drink Kool-Aid while smoking weed in the street? This song did more pissing me off than anything else. They are actually praising this dude claiming, “he is very intricate at telling the brutal truth no one wants to hear.” This is how they poison our shit, they water down the message behind a "Nigga" who can push an agenda yet look like us. Slight of hand shit! It's not about attacking Joyner Lucas because he is very talented, it's about presenting the correct issues and attacking the correct problems. We can't seem to progress because as soon as we hear certain triggers like "Kool-Aid, fried chicken and 2pac" we rally behind it without properly assessing what is actually being presented as our argument for progression.
No Frederick Douglass? No Mansa Musa? No Kwanzaa? No Lauryn Hill? No talking about Black Panthers Free Programs for children in the community? No talking about Dr. Sebi? What about the immense movements of health in the black community that have been going on forever? We were raised in those movements. They exist!
Our people must see how we wingman racism. We must see how the words, actions, and traditions we accept and practice are leaves and fruit of the tree. If the tree is bearing fucked up fruits, it may be a sign that something fucked up is happening to the roots. Racism isn’t here just because it exists outside! It's presence is fortified by a psychology, a self hatred that we inherited from racism/slavery! We have to let go of these so called "black" cultures and traditions created by human trafficking, racist, sexist slave owning terrorists.We must let go of this destructive "black" culture of violence, degradation, objectification, fried chicken and Kool-Aid. This false culture that was given to us!
We didn't turn "Nigger" to "Nigga" a southern accent did. We didn't decide to call each other it and use it as a term of endearment, slavery told us to do that. We didn't decide to objectify our women and put them on display, slavery taught us that (Hottentot). We didn't decide to create a diet that literally destroys our bodies, slavery forced that on us. These aspects of "our culture" had and have no purpose but to destroy us, yet we protect them. We "reclaim"/claim nigga, we claim soul food, we claim beef and violence in our communities, we claim the objectification of the biggest asses and those who promote all of these things in media. These are all tools of racism. It's costume.
How can we burn the custom that we are wearing? We won’t because we are wearing it. It becomes our identity and we become inclined to defend it. We must take it off! It is not ours! Ours is stronger and much more beautiful. We need to reclaim our culture that supports and protects our women, protects and supports our men, that supports our health and our communities. True black culture builds, protects and supports life! It is in us, but we will never be able to see it in the mirror until we take off the costume and our own addiction to our demise.
I think what bothers me is the fact that I didn’t even realize any of this until it was pointed out and I think that is one of the key reasons why this continues. First of all, a lot of people don’t know these things. A lot of people are not educated on these prime and important facts in black culture, but what they are educated about is the fact that we do like to eat fried chicken; we like our music videos with naked women shaking their butt. OMG! It’s just pissing me off because its like all the pieces as I am talking are fitting together in my brain. It’s like that emoji that has that brain exploding. I’m just here thinking about all the different articles I’ve read in the past that didn’t resonate for me when I watched this video. I read an article one time, or maybe it was a documentary I watched—this came from slavery.
Black women were forced by slave masters to shake their butt naked for entertainment. It was done to not only embarrass the woman, but the husband as well; and she was made to do in front of everybody. Black women were raped and all types of inhumane things were done. Wow! Like I’m just at a loss for words, like that didn’t register for me like hello! I just feel like he (Joyner Lucas) had good intent and its hard for me to judge because I feel he was trying to do something good and the thought behind it was good. I feel that maybe he should’ve collaborated with other brothers and sisters who could have added more knowledge and light as it pertains to black culture. We don’t always know everything, we learn everyday, but collaborate with other people who can input their knowledge as well; especially if you’re going to tackle something as big as this. It’s always good to make sure you’re talking about things that need to be addressed. If you’re trying to make a statement like the one that he made you want to make sure that you’re making the right statement and not leaving anything out. Of course, he can’t point everything out because there are just too many things, but it’s important to make sure you’re at least pointing out the most important things and not things that are irrelevant.
I think he could have dropped more gems about black people and our culture from a positive standpoint, on the other hand I think the song may have been representing the more extreme ends of the American culture. The white racist American nationalist vs. the black hood guy who still dwells there.
While some African Americans and people of color may love chicken and the like that does not define who they are as a people and the prominence that grew and continues to grow out of their communities. It’s essential for those things, the true essence of who they are and the majority successes of whom they are to be reflected in these trying times. It is important for talented artist like Joyner Lucas to not only highlight the oppressions of people of color but their profound prominence. We appreciate the good intent that was behind this video and song, but it is important that the things that are put out into the world for people to see and other cultures to address don’t continue to hinder a group of people that have constantly been oppressed.
Credits: Photos via YouTube. Not all photos and videos are the property of ArtsyJunkie.com.