Kendrick Lamar

On Kendrick at the 2016 Grammy’s:

“I don’t like this.”

“He is not an artist! That performance was just weird.”

It’s hard to define what is or isn’t art these days (or maybe we should stop trying to define it at all?); however, it can’t be argued that the reason KL’s performance made a lot of people uncomfortable is that they aren’t willing to accept their unfounded hatred towards African-Americans. I’m looking at you, the person who just said “I don’t hate them! I just dislike their culture!” I’m sorry to say if you had any doubts before you might be racist, the Grammy’s was role call. And unfortunately, for the less blantantly racist people who say they simply didn’t understand the performance, white privelage probably clouded your view. I know that I will never be able to fully understand the discrimination that comes with being a person of color but I can tell you that I’ve faced similar obstacles being a woman in a STEM career (and in general) and being gayer than Tegan AND Sara…combined.

This post might seem delayed because, well, the Grammy’s were back in February but I wanted to make sure I got this one right. And yes, that is definitely a thing white people do…go out of their way to make sure everything they say is 100% politically correct for fear of being called a racist. This isn’t a post to declare my love of black people or to let you know how many black friends I have. This is me trying to reach out to anyone who jumped to a conclusion about Kendrick’s performance and send them the message that maybe, just maybe they could use a little more compassion in their lives. At the end of the day, every major disagreement between different “groups” of people is due to lack of respect and concern for their well-being. I am privelaged to have more food, clothing, and shelter than I need. I am privelaged to apply for a job where my credibility won’t be questioned. I am privelaged to drive around without a second look from police. I hope the difference between me and other people though is that I am aware of my privelage and I can use it to advocate for others as much as possible. At the very least, I’m trying to get my Dad to be less of an asshole which has so far been one giant headache.

So for anyone who hasn’t listened to any of Kendrick’s music aside from his Grammy performance or Beyonce’s song “Freedom” you need to get your shit together. He is saying more than the collective catalog of mainstream “rap.” It’s intelligent and informed music that gives us a glimpse into a reality we are oblivious to because of our privelage. Let’s all get informed together and stand up for others who are having a much harder time than us.

 

The best (partial) clip I could find of his performance.

 

Performing on The Ellen Show.

 

Anthem for anyone feeling down about themselves.

 

Be kind to others!

-JH

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