Yesha Callahan

For Some Reason RZA Thinks Cops Are More Scared Of Us Than We Are Of Them

Getty Images

Getty Images

For at least the past year every time I’ve crossed paths with a cop, I’ve felt a pang of anxiety. Just the other night I was at a cross walk and a cop made a motion for me to cross the street in front of his car. It was a good 30 seconds before I recognized his hand motion as a common, innocent hand gesture and decided to enter the cross walk. I don’t know a black person right now who isn’t afraid to be in the presence of law enforcement even if they’ve called on them for assistance; and yet, all RZA is concerned about is the fear we invoke in the hearts of white police officers.

That was the standout sentiment from the Wu-Tang clan member’s interview with Bloomberg in which he talked about Black Lives Matter and the current racial climate in America. It was during his chat that we discovered the rapper is an All Lives Matter advocate, telling the interviewer when asked how he feels when he see the Black Lives Matter movement:

“Of course, black lives matter. All lives matter. I stopped eating meat because their lives matter to me. I don’t think it’s necessary for us to grow a cow to kill it.”

And yet we grow individuals in our community from boys to men only for them to be killed by overzealous officers whose actions have repeatedly been deemed necessary by juries across the nation.

But that wasn’t the most disturbing comment during RZA’s interview. He went on to talk about his respect for police and how he would’ve been an officer if he wasn’t a rapper, saying:

“When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look, in the mirror, at the image we portray. If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day—things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them.

“I tell my sons, I say, if you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie–we live in New York, so a hoodie and all that is all good. But sometimes, you know, button up your shirt. Clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid, you know what I mean? I think that’s another big issue we gotta pay attention to. Is the image that we portray that could invoke a fear into a white officer, or any officer.”

So it’s okay to murder someone on the suspicion of fear? What about the fear black boys and girls feel walking down the street, being stopped and frisked, unnecessarily pulled over, and placed in cells where they’d later be found dead? Three officers at the most have been killed, not even out of fear, but in retaliation for the black lives that didn’t matter to cops. Do you know how many black teens and men and women have been killed because a cop (or neighborhood watchman) feared they’d be killed by a toy gun, a bag of skittles, or bare hands with not a weapon in sight? Too many to count.

A badge has become far more fear-invoking than a hoodie and yet we’re still the ones being gunned down and left hopeless against a criminal justice system that thinks much like RZA: if our image costs us our life, it’s our fault. The thing is RZA fails to realize the image that invokes fear is black skin, not a hoodie or baggy clothes and no amount of dressing up can change that.

  1. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Ehh i’m so done. We’ve lost another one I guess. It seems every time a black or even white celebrity spew ignorance on the topic of black lives matter, i just can not look at them the same afterwards. Most of them are just so disappointing when they open their mouths to speak on serious issues, probably because there is this subconscious assumption that they are of a certain level of intelligence, when in reality there just average human beings.

  2. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Wat a fi rasclat he say…mi cannot deal wid dis fuckery…First one on my coon list of 2016, black coons don’t fail me now, I have got to weed you out so I know who not to fuck with . I can’t even comment on the ignorance he is wallowing in as I have explained to many times before, we all know what’s wrong -_-. This is black celebrities all over they are too wrapped up in their lifestyles to give two fucks. I would like him to say these exact words to the victims families, he can’t? Why because he is coward and they would ruin him before he could even open up his mouth to do a half hearted apology. Cooning is strong in this one. He is in need of a good ass clap round the head.

  3. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Is he validating a stereotype? Seems that way. It is not okay for a cop to judge a person by how they dress or look. Protect us from criminals not those who look like a criminals.
    My son should be able to walk around with a hoodie on and not fear for his life or jail time. Society be on some dumb shit.

  4. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    I said this on another thread, “This is what happens when you give “Certain” black people money! He’s beginning to get out of touch! REally? It’s these black kids fault, b/c they aren’t wearing a damn suit? They should be shot in the street and stop & frisked b/c of a damn hoodie! I’ve lost respect for you RZA! Now, I predict he’ll be leaving his black wife for an Asian, or White Woman.”

  5. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Look, this guy hasn’t “forgot” what’s it’s like to be young. He’s being instructed to say these things. No one gets on a platform like Bloomberg to do an interview like this without it being scripted well in advance. Rza wants money and fame and recognition from the White system and he is apparently willing to grovel and parrot to obtain it. It’s that simple. FOH with ‘All Lives Matter” Imagine if someone got on tv during a breast cancer fundraiser and said ‘All diseases matter” If an all lives matter person’s house was burning down imagine if the fireman told them all houses matter. Withdraw your support of this clown.

  6. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    I couldn’t even finish reading this mess. Ok, RZA, what about the black men and women who are NOT dressed like thugs and are assassinated by cops? What’s your reason for that? These new blacks, I’ll tell ya…

  7. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Look…I’m just out here trying to be a rich celebrity so that I too can be out of touch and oblivious to all the racist f**kery black people are going through

    Help me make it big y’all!

  8. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Wonder what RZA would say about the recent claims made by a White NYPD cop that his precinct was INSTRUCTED to target Black and Latino teenage boys riding the subway? This brave dude even taped a convo with one of his superiors who point blank told him this is the deal, and he needs to get with the program. I frequently see cops stopping black teenage boys who just got on the train, a few weeks ago one of these kids was sitting to the side (as directed by the Asian cop) and said with a frustrated tone “but i didn’t DO anything!” Kid was almost in tears, they even took his skateboard from him and set that to the side.

    Eff this negro right here.

    • January 8, 2016 - Reply

      @vintage3000

      Great Words Sister.

    • January 8, 2016 - Reply

      @vintage3000

      “I love what the Police do for our society”

      Vintage3000, those were his exact words and I stopped the video after that!
      Rza is a hood cat, an ex-criminal and I’m sure he’s been jacked up by the cops somewhere in NY. I wonder what his Wu tang brethren have to say about this hypocrisy. Their so-called music glamorized drugs and murder and now he;s up here praising cops!
      Looks like he was trained well for the interview.

      • January 8, 2016 - Reply

        @Chazz A

        I read where the FBI monitored Wu tang for years.

        • January 8, 2016 - Reply

          @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

          Right. Allegedly, several members were distributing coke and running guns with the Dominicans back in the day.
          I could write a book on some of these NY rappers that were in the game before they became stars.
          Raekwon (Wu Tang) and Method Man used to hang out at the barbershop and gave us the real deal about what was happening in the streets at that time.

          • January 8, 2016 - Reply

            @Chazz A

            Yes, many of the old school hip hop artists were sincere artists who loved the art. Others were really involved in the underground economy (that underground economy). The FBI has a long history of entrapment, illegal surveillance, and even other nefarious criminal actions. So, every FBI agent is not a paragon of virtue. We all hope that any Brother and any Sister would learn the lessons of the past, so they can develop a better future for themselves and for their descendants.

            • January 8, 2016 - Reply

              @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

              No doubt Truth. I don’t knock these brothers on how they make dough, but when they use dope money to finance a rap career ( like Rza did) and turn around and appease the establishment (like Rza did), It creates blatant hypocrisy that cannot be overlooked. Is he trying to be another Jay-Z or something? I’m just sayin!

              • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                @Chazz A

                RZA wanted to be in league with Hollywood and the corporate world for years. I remember when ODB passed away and ODB said that very few people visited him when he was in jail. ODB’s story was one of the saddest stories of a musician that I heard in my life. It is hypocritical for Rza to talk about respectability politics, but he is known for his controversial ways.

                • January 8, 2016 - Reply

                  @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

                  Right. ODB had a rough life, drug abuse and mental illness and the people around him were toxic as well.

      • January 9, 2016 - Reply

        @Chazz A

        The odd thing to me is exactly what would he lose if he told the truth? And its always so annoying that theu are never asked about the points you just brought up.

        • January 9, 2016 - Reply

          @vintage3000

          Exactly Sister.

        • January 9, 2016 - Reply

          @vintage3000

          I would have more respect for the brother if he cuts the “shuck & jive” and be real for once. He made his bones pushing dope and turned his life around, what’s wrong with that? He looks like a brand new clown, cooning up to the NYPD, knowing damn well their history of abuse towards black people in this city!

          • January 10, 2016 - Reply

            @Chazz A

            You can be a Mathis, or you can be a RZA, it’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Just don’t make any of the choices I made because i always ended up dead.

        • January 10, 2016 - Reply

          @vintage3000

          You wouldn’t hear this kind of crap at a Run the Jewels concert and Killer Mike seems to be doing okay.

      • January 10, 2016 - Reply

        @Chazz A

        Money is what happened to him. People who start off disenfranchised or hit a really rough patch in life suddenly become very conservative when they get money. I call it Capital Gains Syndrome.

        • January 10, 2016 - Reply

          @Jo 'Mama' Besser

          “Capital Gains Syndrome”

          Thats a good point!

        • January 10, 2016 - Reply

          @Jo 'Mama' Besser

          That’s a great point Sister. Many celebrities were more progressive back in the day and then with that money they want to spew pro-FOX News talking points about race and the police. It is really disturbing.

  9. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    RZA should be ashamed of himself. We should be judged on the content of our character not on our clothing attire. Also, there is nothing wrong with wearing a hoodie or urban clothing. Throughout American history, many black people dressed conservatively and acted in a respectable fashion, but they have been killed by crooked cops and racists still. This example refutes the respectability politics agenda of RZA. He refuses to expose how the police institution is filled with overt corruption (from how some Cleveland cops being exposed by the DOJ for its wrongdoing to some of the Ferguson police department exposed in its evil practices). He is from NYC and he should talk about the devastating impact of stop and frisk actions against the black community in his own hometown. There are countless stories of black people being harassed and searched by the police in many areas of New York City. Cops should have the sense to judge people fairly and not stereotype black people as “potential criminals.” These New Blacks are disgraceful. Some of these celebrities are afraid to publicly call out crooked cops. Some of these celebrities are afraid of promoting Blackness in public. We are here, we are black, and we will stand up for our humanity.

  10. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    that is what happens when rich/celebrities of poc forget that they are poc. They want to justify white reasoning

  11. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Yeah, Timothy Treadwell thought the bears were more afraid of humans than the other way around. And then a bear ate him.

  12. January 9, 2016 - Reply

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste. When you live with the mentality of a slave mind for generations, you say things like this, You speak against your own self interest.
    the way we dress has nothing to do with the way the police see us and treat us. Case in point, look back at pictures of the sit-in in the 1960’s of black youth dressed impeccably, they were still snatched of their seats at the lunch counter, they still had fire hoses turn on the, dog set to bite them. Nothing to do with the way they were dressed.
    As to how we are portrait in movies and tv that is white writers and costume designer in Hollywood.
    RZA you are not endearing yourself with anyone, please think before you speak. I am very disappointed .

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