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.

Derek Minor

I’m just going to say the name, Colin Kaepernick. He is kneeling, yet he is a millionaire, why can’t he be grateful to have privilege. And now Nike has signed him and endorsed him to a sneaker? What’s going on?

Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you don’t have trauma. I think that for the Christian, we should definitely be careful when we say…by saying that, you are literally saying, “money gives you happiness.” This man is rich, therefore he should be happy. You have literally made money his God. You have stripped away all humanity from him. When you listen to my songs that say money can’t bring you happiness, you applaud it. But this man who is saying I’m frustrated and hurt as a black man in America – you’re saying he should be happy because he has money.

Number two, Colin Kaepernick, the thing that most people say, “He wasn’t even raised black, he was raised white.” He has white parents. Well, I’d say, “Wow.” On the surface of that, you can say he grew up with privilege his whole life. Also, he grew up an extreme minority where he was at.

I’m sure his parents love him to death, but the schools they often sent him to, probably ostracized him because of his blackness. He was probably the only black person in the area he was in because of his affluence that’s just statistically. Usually, black affluent people live in other neighborhoods with black affluent people. If there’s not one, then they live in a white affluent one. I’m sure Kaepernick received a high degree of racism, not from his family but from the environment he lived in.

Everyone knew he was adopted because his white parents walk in with this black baby. He has that strike, two he sticks out like a sore thumb because he’s black. Three, I’m sure there were people in those environments that were racist to him. The case can almost be made if you were to talk to him that he may have experienced more racism in the climate he was in if he were to be raised around all black people. At least he can say, “Well when I’m at home or at my schools, I’m around mostly black kids.”

I’m sure he faced a very real and upfront issue of identity from where he was at. I think if anyone is able to speak on it, it would be him for sure.

Last one, Black Lives Matter, yeah but, All Lives Matter!

Yeah, they do matter but all lives also don’t have discriminatory laws against them. The reason why the Black Lives Matter movement exists is because historically black lives haven’t mattered in our country. Some people even today and some laws make it seem like we don’t matter still.

When breast cancer awareness month happens, and my mom is a survivor, that doesn’t mean that lung cancer doesn’t matter. We are just raising money for breast cancer. So that’s the idea of Black Lives Matter. It’s not the idea that no lives matter or either or.

That’s an actual nationalistic idea when in order for white lives to matter other lives don’t matter. It’s nationalistic to think that black lives matter and no other lives matter. The issue is black lives matter because people don’t think they do. We should be given the exact same rights as everyone else. If your assumption is that we already have them, then I can see how you’ll be frustrated by that ideology. You can literally talk to five black people and see that’s not the case.

Speech Thomas of Arrested Development actually explained it to me pretty good too. He said that, say you’re on a block and your house is on fire. The fire department comes to put the fire out at your house, but your neighbor from down the block says, “Well, how come you’re not coming to my house?” “Well, is your house on fire?” “No, but all houses matter!” Yeah, but your house isn’t on fire right now. So we’re going to deal with this problem right now and then the neighborhood will get back to all houses matter. But right now this house matters the most because it’s on fire. 

Also, the issue in America is not equality. That’s not what you should be fighting for. It’s fighting for equity. Equality is this, everyone gets $100. Equity is…the reason why it never balances out is because the richer get richer and the poorer stay poorer. The ratio is the same. If I say everyone gets $100 what that does is keep everyone the same. The issue is equity, restoring what’s been lost. That’s the issue here.

When you talk about affirmative action, it was brought into place for restoration. It wouldn’t have been good enough to just say…at the end of the day any legislation is not going to get the job done. These are heart issues. Policy matters, politics matter. Any type of legislature is going to do a poor job at best of addressing these issues. Affirmative Action was an attempt at creating equity. What it was saying was, “We know because of your history and how you were treated in America that you need a little extra help because you’ve been held back.”

I saw someone who had a great graphic. It was two kids. They were both trying to see over the fence and one of them was 4ft. tall and the other was 2ft. tall. So they gave everyone the same size ladder. The problem was the 2ft. tall kid still couldn’t see over the fence. Equity is, “Let me get you what you need to see over the fence.” If the fence is 5ft. tall they just need a 1ft. ladder. If the person is 2ft. tall, they’re going to need a 4ft. ladder.

The last thing I would throw in. People say this all the time. “I don’t see color.” I hate when people say that, but I love the sentiment because you do see color. When you see me, the first thing you see is my skin color. That’s okay because God made me that way. God made me black and I’m still in His image just like He made others white and other brown and all different gamuts of the color spectrum. When you say, “I don’t see color,” one you’re lying. Even though the sentiment is, “I see you as human.” You also have to see me as God made me, in His image.

The quest is to not see my color because usually when you don’t see it, you just attribute your culture to me. “Hey, this guy is just like me.” The goal is to not, not see your background and color, it’s for me to learn more about you and your culture and learn as much as I can.

This was a wrap of the series with Derek Minor. We thank him for his openness and time. Listen to part one here, part two here, part 3, here, and part 4 here.