Recently, Dateline interviewed the icon and superstar, Dwayne Carter, known as Lil Wayne who revealed for many shocking and surprising revelations. While Lil Wayne is known to be controversial and uncompromising in displaying unconventional antics, his comments left many African Americans and listeners speechless as well as infuriated. His overall crass and stoic indifference to the many African Americans suffering racial indignities was insensitive as well as alarming. One could only conclude that he was totally ignorant of the social climate of this country—or he is so self-absorbed he genuinely just doesn’t care.
He was interviewed by ABC News’ Linsey Davis, who asked him about his political views concerning Black Lives Matter as well as his misogynistic role in promoting women as ‘bitches and ‘hoes’ in many of his lyrics. Lil Wayne threw diplomacy to the wind. He retorted in a diatribe stating that he was not a politician and that he couldn’t relate to the Black Lives Matter Movement because he didn’t feel connected to a “damn thing” that he felt had nothing to do with him. He arrogantly made note that he was young, rich and successful and didn’t feel any racial bias because many of his ardent supporters are White.
Many find his apathetic position ironic, considering the poverty stricken environment in which he was brought up. Has his monumental success blinded him to the suffering of others that look like him?
His retort toward referring to women in derogatory terms was that his demeaning or provocative lyrics made him a very rich man. Therefore, he said you could look forward to seeing more of the same—that it was coming. Ironically, when asked if his daughters were referred to as a bitches or ‘hoes,’ how would he feel? He visibly expressed that he would be upset and angry.
Many people like myself personally felt disdain and pity for him regarding his incendiary comments. I realized that the public created and for the most part supports this seemingly illusionary and provocative superstar. Evidently, Lil Wayne feels that he can present himself in a negative light, degrade women, and show indifference to those suffering who look like him—and still be supported by his fans. I guess that is an adequate evaluation for him to assume since he is still held in high esteem by so many fans and supporters, especially in the African American community. I can only question ‘when is enough, enough’ for Lil Wayne? He is far from being alone for being rewarded in his part in the degradation and negative depiction of African Americans.
Many rappers, professional athletes, and entertainers in the public light, seem to feel that are immune to condemnation from the Black community, especially when they become successful and have a large White fan base. It seems they are no longer concerned about pending contentious issues affecting African Americans. They personally feel they have arrived and are embraced and accepted by their White counterparts. You must understand that success for many African Americans is inclusion in a White atmosphere where you are more concerned with defending their concerns.
Although Lil Wayne later apologized for his statements (probably because of damage control after a negative response from social media), the African American community should use his interview as a learning tool. We must be vigilant in not supporting and promoting African Americans who don’t really seem to appreciate or respect our history and struggle in this country. We can no longer patronize, honor, or pay money to those so willing to degrade and disrespect our ethnic race and culture for the love of money.
We, as African Americans, are contributing to our own degradation and perceived negative stereotypes by so willingly accepting those who readily seek to demean us. Could Lil Wayne be so self-absorbed that he truly feels he is so much above other African Americans that our feelings are irrelevant?
It could be he is just ignorant and needs to be schooled in Black consciousness. It could be perceived that he just truly doesn’t care. In all honestly, those in the African American community are left asking if Lil Wayne is friend or foe.
The saddest part is that he is not alone as an African American in contributing to negative stereotypes toward Blacks.
Let’s not consciously contribute to our own dehumanization.