Our View: Rapper’s latest reveals racism still a problem

While you may not have heard of rapper Joyner Lucas, he’s made headlines recently with his controversial new song; I’m not racist. Lucas takes a shocking turn by showing the world that there is still racism blanketing this country. From stereotypes to misconceptions, Lucas wants the country and the world to know that while everything from sexual assaults to net neutrality is a problem, racism should not take a back seat.

The video starts with two characters sitting face to face with a small table between them. One is a stereotypical Caucasian male with a gut that spills out over his blue jeans and his blue-collar shirt getting stretched to its limits, as well as a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat to act as the cherry on the top. His scratchy beard shrouds his face as he lip syncs Lucas’ words. Across from him sits a young African American male with dreadlocks that sit atop his head like spider legs. His gold chain is clearly visible as he sits laid back with a pained confidence that is expressed through the song.

The camera pans the two as each one takes his turn in saying the problems with each other’s race, while every few lines they assure, mostly themselves, that they are not racist.

While the line “I’m not racist” is a central theme amongst the song, it also has a deeper meaning in life itself. It means how a lot of the population ensures that they aren’t racist, while at the same time contradict themselves daily.

It’s a hard truth to swallow, but Lucas can express it in better terms than most: the emotion that is sopping from the actors as they pour their opinions and central problems onto the other. One thing that is clear is that one feels much more passionate than the other about the problems he sees on an everyday scale. The African American male implodes with more emotion than Lucas spits during the song. He goes from white privilege to cultural appropriation to defending attacks against former President Barack Obama. Lucas leaves no stone unturned. His lack of fear is the main idea that leaves this song so fronting and controversial.

“I’m not racist” is something that has many meanings. Whichever meaning you choose, one central meaning cannot be ignored. Race is still a problem. However, the conclusion of the video is also reflective of today. Both men at the conclusion share a long embrace. It was initiated by the white male, which is indicative of our society as a whole because while it’s not going to seal all wounds caused by oppression in the past few hundred years, it is a small Band-Aid on a seeping wound. It won’t stop the bleeding, or anything close to that, but it is a small and promising step in the right direction. Racism is still alive and raging through the veins of America, but the video acknowledges the fact that there are steps being made to try and eliminate it.

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