An Open Letter To Lil Wayne

An Open Letter To Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne aka Weezy, I hear on an upcoming song you say the verse “Beat the women’s sexual part like Emmett Till”. I don’t know if its ignorance on your part or that you just don’t care but as a now former fan of yours, you can’t say that.

As a man of color from the south, I would hope you would know better than most about treatment of African Americans and the history of violence, hatred and inequality.

For those of us from the north, Emmett Till’s story was one of precaution when we went down south, despite that it happened in 1955. And no matter what was said in that general store, nothing and I mean nothing was worth the beating and hate crime that was Emmett Till's death. His mother’s actions to display his body at his funeral (and Jet magazine for taking photographs), despite the beating he took was a catalyst of the civil rights movement.

Here in Chicago one of the main streets on the historic south side of Chicago (71st Street), has been renamed in his honor. We are reverent of Emmett Till and just a decade the FBI exhumed his body (which I saw part of that process at Burr Oak Cemetery), as part of re examining his case because this was a hate crime and his civil rights were violated. Not to mention his original court case was not a fair trial by a long shot.

Emmett Till and his story is one that changed this nation, that shone a light on the south and along with Rosa Parks, started the great civil rights movement that benefit you and me to this very day.

Listen Weeezy, just because you may be wealthy and have a successful recording career doesn't mean that you can say anything, you see Lupe Fiasco (another former favorite rapper of mine), was tossed out of a presidential inauguration concert because he said disparaging remarks about President Obama while on stage.

The rap game is bigger than you Weezy, the history of African Americans in this country has 400 years of the blood of our ancestors all over it and we still are a distance from the promised land. Most of us struggle day to day and still face inequalities despite that radical changes that have taken place over the past 60 years.

I strongly suggest you read up on Emmett Till and while you’re at it, check the story of Rosa Parks and keep going to see about my man Medgar Evers (its 50 years this June since he was killed), and the sacrifices these people made.

Being a famous rapper does not give you the liberty to say anything and desecrate African American heroes.

In the words of hip lop legend Ice T, “Freedom of Speech, but watch what you say.”

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    Charles W. Johnson

    I'm a lifelong writer (since I was 8 years old), and have been doing this blog in some form or fashion since 2004. I'm a DePaul University alum (LA&S '99), and know and love Chicago. Writing is my passion, what I write is what I feel, know and have experienced. I simply want to share my thoughts, experiences and opinions. And I appreciate you taking to the time to read what I have to say.

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