My thoughts on ASAP Rocky's "Anti-Black Lives Matter" comments

I think this ASAP rocky’s anti-black lives matter misunderstanding comes from the issues or how closely contemporary activism and elitism are. In a lot of ways activism is a privilege; one that black middle class educated folks don’t fully recognize or understand they have. We might all be black but not all of us are educated and able to be mobilized in the same way as someone that has a better understanding of the full landscape of the intersecting oppressions that exist. On top of that we don’t all have the same experience. Folks from communities that experience high intra-community violence are gonna put black on black violence as their main concern and depending on their level of education they might not understand the nuances of publicly addressing that issue. I think the black activism community especially online, (which I suspect are mostly black middle class educated folk) need to assess situations like these better. Instead of going on a witch hunt and condemning ‘problematics’ recognize black middle class privilege and consider how sharing your knowledge can be a revolutionary act. 

 

Specifically with this interview and the comments in question: There's a lot of nuances in what he's saying but I think a lot of the misunderstanding comes from the fact that he doesn’t have the language or education to fully articulate his perspective or to navigate the complexities of racism. Essentially you have to read between the lines to really understand where he's coming from. What I got from it is that he's burden by the position racism puts him in where he's expected to respond to tragedies for which he doesn’t have a fully encompassing understanding of. People dedicate their lives to analyzing and understanding racism and white supremacy and ASAP rocky is not one of those people. I think he understands that and as a result he's taking an approach where he's relying on his experience. It sounds like he'd like to do his part to make the world a better place but he doesn't have the ability to be calculated or strategic when it comes to approaching and tackling racism. He might have the experience but he doesn't have the knowledge to feel comfortable taking a stance and he recognizes that other artist are better capable than he is. I wouldn't say his comments were 'anti-black lives matter' I think that rhetoric is purposely decisive to click-bate. If anything he sounds undereducated and indifferent to the 'Black lives matter' brand but sounds like he'd be open to getting more educated and informed.