After a one hour long discussion with Derek Minor about his The Trap album, we took another hour to dive into some heavy questions. The Trap and the conversation about it, unveiled the hardships of a disenfranchised African American community as they struggle to Fly High Above The Trap by Any Means.
Coming into this interview, I found another opportunity. Let’s have an honest and nuanced conversation about race. Yes, not an original idea, but let’s do something a little different. Let’s pretend for a moment, that YOU, not a person of color, had the opportunity to sit down with a black person and ask them anything without recourse. What would you ask? It is in this vein that Derek Minor and I spoke about racial stereotypes, misconceptions, and solutions to help people understand each other better. Instead of shouting and arguing, this is a teachable moment, that takes many of the “rebuttals” toward the African American community, and gives a more thoughtful answer.
It is also important to note, and he acknowledges it, Derek Minor, does not speak for all black people. He is aware that some people may agree with the rebuttals and that others may even fall in the middle. This is his take and interpretation toward the questions being asked.
Without further adieu, Rapzilla presents A Black & White Conversation About Race.
Black on Black Crime
A white cop killed a black person, but what about black on black crime?
That is such a lazy answer. That’s lazy just in general. People kill people in their own community more than they do out of their own community. That’s a two answer question. Answer number one, all crime, primarily in every culture, is amongst the culture. So white on white crime is – 80% of crime is white people killing white people. 80% of black people crime is blacks killing blacks, Chinese killing Chinese, and the reason why is – proximity. We all usually live and work within a certain community. It’s just logical. If I get into it, I’m going to get into it with someone in my community.
Number two, regardless of that, it still doesn’t shy away from if a cop misused his power in the neighborhood he polices. One doesn’t justify or delegitimize the other. Black on black crime could be at an all-time high, but that doesn’t mean that this police officer did not misuse their power and kill this person. That still matters. We have to for sure, everyone within their own communities should do their best not to hurt one another. But everyone hurts one another in their communities. The rates of white on white crime is pretty much the same as black on black crime.
Black people have been pretty much free since the Civil War, so why are they still using this as a crutch?
That’s a very lazy question as well. To answer your question that is very nuanced, I’ll try and boil it down for you.
Ideally, everyone is standing on the shoulders of their forefathers. Most kids today, they enjoy their lifestyle – you enjoy your lifestyle based on what your parents can provide. You take what your parents provided for you and you build off of that.
You say your parents were from NY? Where are they from?
My dad’s ancestry is Polish, but was raised Jewish and my mom is Puerto Rican, but her parents actually came from Puerto Rico in the 40s.
So they got together and whatever happened in their life, afforded them to be able to be here to immigrate to America. And now you reap the benefits of that. You don’t have to work when you’re two-years-old. Your parents provided the life for you that they can provide.
Now, let’s look at that collectively with black people. Within America, they have been discriminated against from being able to live a normal life. For the rights that America is supposed to afford to everyone, everyone doesn’t get those rights. Historically you can see the proof of that. The reason why slavery is so huge in our lives in America and is why many people connect that to where they are now is simple. We are all standing on the shoulders of what our parents, grandparents, and great-great grandparents could afford… So when you have the actual government itself stifling and preventing people from, first of all, being able to read and right, and not only that but owning land…so that’s 400 years of that. Can’t read and write, can’t own land. That means you can’t build wealth and you can’t educate yourselves. That’s 400 years of that.
From there, you have Jim Crow [laws], but we prevent you through our laws from educating yourself. Now we can’t kill you for not educating yourself, but we can definitely say, ‘blacks can’t go to this school. Blacks can’t go to that school’. They can’t go to the best schools. Blacks can’t go to the best schools because of redlining. The banks would turn black people down. So now, that’s our grandparents’ generation where they are not able to accumulate wealth or educate themselves at the rate that a white parent would be able to. All of that is passed down to the kid today. And what we’re seeing is, that in the black communities, that even with the same education, makes less or half than their white counterpart. That’s just males. That does not include women in that. That’s even worse.
America is capitalist. What determines your success in America is how much money you have. We are a capitalistic society. If you want to hold someone back in our society, you want to hold them back from getting capital. That’s been happening to black people since they’ve been inserted in America. Therefore, that’s why black people talk about slavery, Jim Crow, and privatized prisons as collectives. Those things are specific to our culture which has held us back from being able to have the opportunities for generation after generation. That has held us back as a culture.