As protests rage on in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a local police officer, debates about racial profiling and law enforcement ethics continue to dominate national headlines. On Tuesday, rapper T.I. added his thoughts to the conversation with a pair of powerful Instagram posts, writing that "America has created a monster."
In the first post, T.I. says the Ferguson tragedy and the country's current racial tensions are "the result of ignoring and mishandling an already fragile-spirited, recently enslaved, presently oppressed race/generation of people." He adds that African-Americans "created their own" culture, religion and traditions after being "brought to this place," saying, "our people have had an increasing lack of opportunities for generations.
"How long can you expect a nation/race/generation of people to be blatantly disrespected?" the rapper writes. "Spoken to and treated with arrogant tones of insignificance. Our fathers, uncles, brothers and role models were killed and imprisoned more often than educated. Now look at us. Our friends and relatives murdered and cast aside without thought, as though your human life is more valuable than ours. How long can that go on without consequence?"
The second post is similarly worded but even more moving, as T.I. calls for an end to the "insanity" still raging in the Missouri town. "Look at us," he writes. "Rebels without a cause. Soldiers without a general. A lost generation. Ready for War. No strategy, no training. Armed only with our grief, aggravation, and passionate disdain for our treatment in America. Sick and tired of everything...especially ourselves."
Later, he expresses his disgust at going into "Fuck-it" mode ("'Fuck the world, 'fuck the police, and even 'fuck' the wishes and requests of a grieving mother, father, family who lost a son...whose memory they would NOT like to see tarnished by OUR negative ACTIONS/DECISIONS").
"Nah, G, that ain't the code," he writes. "This ain't da way. . . One question to MY PEOPLE: What are we changing...Really? Look at us. Destroying our own community, but continuing to spend money in theirs. Refusing education...revolving in the same cycle of ignorance instead of evolving out of it. . . I do have a fun fact for you. Insanity is...going about things the same way, expecting a different result."
Meanwhile, Devonté Hynes, the eclectic indie-funk artist who records under the moniker Blood Orange, expressed his shock and horror in an interview with OkayPlayer.
"You don't want it to be real, but it is," Hynes said. "And I don't know what's happening or what's going to happen. To me, it feels like I've been getting poked all my life. . . and people are just getting tired. It feels like you associate time with learning. I think in our culture, it's a real shock that that doesn't add up in everything. Just because the Civil Rights Act was 50 years ago doesn't mean that we're 50 times past it."