Kendrick Lamar: “Hip-hop is not the problem. Our reality is the problem of the situation. This is our music. This is us expressing ourselves. Rather [than] going out here and doing the murders myself, I want to express myself in a positive light the same way other artists are doing. Not going out in the streets, go in the booth and talking about the situation and hoping these kids can find some type of influence on it in a positive manner. Coming from these streets and coming from these neighborhoods, we’re taking our talents and putting ‘em inside the studio.”
Rather than acting like pseudo-patriots blinded by the flash of fireworks and national anthems, many are taking to twitter under #NothingMoreAmericanThan to voice the hypocrisy of celebrating freedom while maintaining systemic oppression.
While it would have been better not to simplify the Americas as being representative of a US experience and nothing else (this reproduces exceptionalism & neocolonization), the way in which digital activists have repurposed this hashtag is to be commended. Especially since it’s likely tweets would have continued to conflate and normalize whiteness with US citizenship, as well as erase the struggle for survival that many communities face.
Let the Twitter Teach-In Begin:
Side note: If any of these make you respond with the tired, “if you hate it so much here you can just leave” arguments, or any variation of it, you’re part of the problem.