Lil' Wayne is caught in a social media firestorm, as fans and critics continue to denounce comments he made about Black Lives Matter during an interview with ABC's "Nightline." After listening to Lil' Wayne's words, rather reading the subtitles of what he said, I was angered and frustrated by the rapper's take on a movement that has meant so much to the masses.
But more than anger, more than frustration, I felt fear. I felt fear, because Lil Wayne's slurred and oblivious analysis of Black Lives Matter reminded me of a moment when I witnessed the same sentiments said, but in a way and through a vessel that made their impact far worse.
I can't remember his name, but I remember his face. He was light-skinned with a chin and upper lip not yet introduced to facial hair. He had a decent hair cut, although I couldn't tell if he was trying to do that "sponge thing" on the top, or if he just didn't care to brush his hair all the way through that morning. He was long and lean, his frame strong enough for track and field, but not sturdy enough for football. He was handsome. He had a calm confidence about himself.
Then it happened. He looked up and around the room and professed, " I don't care about Black Lives Matter, it has absolutely nothing to do with me, and no one in my life has been killed by police, so this issue is not my problem."
He was 16-years-old.
Now, I expect a loopy multi-millionaire who's brain is liquidated by the drug, better known as lean, to make egregious statements about Black Lives Matter; anything of substance or an ounce of sense coming from Lil' Wayne's mouth at this point is a treat.
But the child I encountered isn't insulated from the real world like Lil' Wayne. He doesn't have the money to pacify his ignorance. He's yet to experience what it feels like to wear the "black man's suit"everyday. Life is still new, he's still exploring who he is and who he wants to be. At his age, having that level of apathy toward Black Lives Matter is far worse than what Lil Wayne expressed on "Nightline."
What's even scarier is that child, that student, that future leader, that "black man in the making," that human sponge, is possibly soaking up garbage spewed by Lil' Wayne and other artists who share his views. That's what makes the hip hop entertainer's statements so damaging.
As black voices blast Lil' Wayne in the coming days, it's my hope the outrage doesn't stop there, because we often find words fade, and a true stand is best made with the all mighty dollar.
Lil' Wayne is rich and unfazed for a reason.
We keep buying his records. We keep going to his concerts. We are keeping him rich.
We are ignoring his propensity to corrode the richness of our culture and future generations.
If the "black voice" doesn't evolve into the "black force" on this issue and others that plague our communities, they'll be many more "Lil Waynes" to come.
Moving forward, I sincerely hope the level of public outrage expressed following Lil' Wayne's dismissal of Black Lives Matter prompts him to reflect and make a sincere attempt to understand the movement. Because for every comment he makes, there's young eyes watching, innocent ears listening, minds not yet molded and open hearts fighting not to give life's letdowns permission to close them shut.