Joyner Lucas: The Rapper That Taught America A Lesson on Racism
Joyner Lucas sums up years of research on groups and racism into one song. The rapper tackled America’s growing issue with racism and he did it in a way no one could have expected.
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Joyner Lucas just schooled America. His latest single “I’m not a racist” touched upon sensitive topics that most people are afraid to talk about. The hit single addresses racism in a way no one has ever done before. Brave ones willing to confront the situation usually stand on the defense. Caucasians and African Americans provide backing for their stereotypes each calling the other “racists.” Lucas took America’s most significant problem and put it in perspective by representing the extremities of each side in such a way that displays both as being ignorant as the other.
Sociologists studying racism could not agree more with Joyner Lucas’s point. Ignorance results from people separating themselves into groups. It is almost common sense; when you’re not around a specific group, you don’t know anything about them. The ignorance easily leads to hatred. Studies on groups and minorities show that people are quick to attribute negative stereotypes to an outside group and are even faster to associate their own with positive schemas.
Lucas sums up years of research on group behavior in one song. African Americans and Caucasian still have a divide between each other. The divide and ignorance about the other make it easy for hate and blame to come between them. Racism will continue on both sides until the separated groups get together and hear each other out. The last line of the song describes the slow healing process of racism. There is no quick fix;
“Can’t erase scars with a bandage. I hope we can come to an understanding. Agree to disagree we can have an understanding. I’m not a racist.”
The song begins with a racist Caucasian American perspective on racism. In the video, a Caucasian man sporting a red “make America great again” cap rolls out punches. He lists multiple pointers that together make up an ignorant racist outlook. He pinpoints African Americans as being the reason for their lack of privilege in the United States. He calls on them to change their clothes, get jobs, pick different role models, stop selling drugs, claim their children and a whole lot of other things that correlate with prevalent racist views. The ironic part is that the Caucasian man only mouths the words. Joyner Lucas’s voice is the one heard, saying all these racist comments.
The white man’s hard emphasis on the letter “r” in the word “nigger,” serves as the most chilling part of the entire song. The pronunciation of the racist slander is reminiscent of segregated America, and the atrocities that took place in that time. It’s none the less frightening to be reminded of such a horrific period and even more so to acknowledge that there are Americans who still use this word coupled with outdated, invalid and racist views. At the end of the first verse, he says, with a frustrated voice; “I’m not racist.” As if tired of hearing all the reasons whites are to blame for African American disprivilege, he explains “I’m just prepared for this type of war.” He later confesses a realization, that both African Americans and Caucasians are living in the same country but know nothing about each other. “its like we live in the same building but split into two floors.” Finalizing his statements with a will to cure his ignorance by being open to hearing the other side of the story. “I’m not racist, but there’s two sides to every story, I wish that I knew yours.” The second verse rebuttals all arguments made against African Americans. The song continues with Lucas’s voice, and the video shows an African American mouthing them. He pinpoints Caucasians as being the reason for African American disprivilege. His argument contains racist aspects as well.
The man describes Caucasians as having a lack of sympathy for African Americans in regards to their history of slavery. He says that Caucasians have developed tactics to keep African Americans as an underprivileged race. The video shows the African American man being angry and defending a side that the white man would never have thought of. He highlights that continued disprivilege among African Americans applies pressure on those in the community. The pressure to find a quick way to provide for a family and put food on the table. “Tryna find a job but ain’t nobody call me back yet. Now I gotta sell drugs just to put food in my cabinet.” Racist people do not consider the gray areas, literally viewing things as black and white.
Lucas then creates unanimity between the two “racists” arguing against each other by saying how now both their lives are at risk with North Korea’s threat to bomb America. He also finalized his argument by saying that he too is not a racist and “I’m not a racist, but there’s two sides to every story and now you know mine.” The video ends with the two men hugging.