Pharrell: Obama 'Needs to Come Down' to Ferguson - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

Pharrell: Obama ‘Needs to Come Down’ to Ferguson

“This is a deeper laceration in this country,” says producer. “This is going to be the longest hangover in race relations ever”

Pharrell Williams told CNN’s Don Lemon that President Barack Obama “needs to come down” to Ferguson, Missouri to see firsthand the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown.

“When your parents come into the room — whether it’s you or your cousin that knocked the vase down — both of y’all sit up at attention,” said the producer. “This is a deeper laceration in this country. This is going to be the longest hangover in race relations ever.”

While Pharrell might not have been as vocal as his hip-hop peers following Brown’s death, the Neptunes producer and The Voice judge still had some articulate thoughts on the matter. “What did I think of Ferguson? I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in the way that it was handled from the government side. I think that that officer should be punished because that was excessive force.”

“All those shots, where those shots were, the idea that that child laid in the ground – [Brown’s] a child, I know he’s 6’2″, 6’3″, but he’s a child – he was laying in the ground for hours,” Williams continued. “That kid didn’t ask to be killed and so I feel like that officer should be punished, but at the same time, we got to start looking at our selves too because we are feeling hunted and we need to be able to avoid these things, and sometimes they’re unavoidable.”

Williams then tied the Brown shooting with the death of Trayvon Martin to the inherent issue with society today. When asked about a viral Facebook campaign that encouraged African-Americans to pull their pants up so they aren’t racially profiled, Williams said, “Who is ‘the man’ to tell me how to wear my pants? Ain’t nobody can tell me how to wear my pants, I’m a human being. And that’s the thing: There are so many issues that keep getting lump-summed in the same issue, wearing your jeans on your butt or below your waistline has nothing to do with being black. You know how many white kids do that? That’s not a black or white thing. Hoodies are not a black or white thing. It’s an excuse.”

Williams criticized the role of the media in the days after the Brown shooting. “I was disappointed that while we had so much peaceful protesting going on, what the media chose to cover most of all and highlight was the random few people that threw Molotov cocktails. The random people that had guns on them,” Williams told Lemon. “This is the age of sound-biting.”

In This Article: Pharrell, Pharrell Williams


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.