Meditating on last week’s horrifying Charleston shootings, Lupe Fiasco has penned a passionate, philosophically stimulating open letter about the myth of white supremacy. Across three Instagram posts, all accompanied by images of Charleston shooter Dylann Storm Roof, the rapper speaks directly to a personified white supremacy, which he labels a “lie white regularists tell to themselves in hopes that they can get a one-way ticket to the top and hope we other colors overhear it.”
Lupe gets straight to the point in the first post, observing that white power positions have, throughout history, been achieved “mostly through force or some biological event such as disease that did a lot of the dirty work for you in advance.” Using both sarcasm and sharp cultural insight, the rapper breaks down why “there is nothing about [whites] biologically or physically that denotes an innate mode of supremacy,” noting the high achievements (like “spaghetti and meatballs” and “Coldplay”) brought from white regularity.
“For that matter, there is also nothing about you psychologically, philosophically, cognitively, academically, socially, architecturally, culturally or even financially that signifies a higher position above any other group,” he continues. “And to be diplomatic, there is nothing about you that denotes innate inferiority as well. So what you really are is something in the middle. You are regular.”
In the second part, the rapper writes about how “things are created in collaboration and in tandem with other cultures, knowledge structures and movements and, more important, people.”
“One color does not dominate the other, nor can it,” he writes. “Sure, Steve Jobs was white. But the guy who built the computer was probably Chinese. And the girl who wrote the programs for the computer is probably from Mumbai. And the raw materials that were used to make it were probably first pulled out of the ground by somebody in South Africa. And if you take this highly collaborated-upon piece of high technology to an indigenous tribe in the jungles of Brazil, they’d probably use it as a boat paddle.”
Lupe ends by pointing out the core illogic of white supremacy. “And if you wanted to get really ironic and meta about it, white supremacy has to validate its own identity based solely on its relationship to other races!” he says. “I mean, now that’s what I would call joined at the hip. Without us, there is no white supremacy because there would be nothing to be supreme over! That sounds so stupid, but sometimes the truth is stupid. Stupid like a fox. And no not stupid like a Fox News. I mean the real fox. The animal.”
The rapper closes by saluting white supremacy (“the race formerly known as white supremacy”) on behalf of his own “black regularity.”