More and more celebs are using their social influence to help shed light on some of America’s most deeply rooted problems, Race and Equality. In Hip Hop news, just weeks after the slaying of teen Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson, protesters continue to clash with authorities as frustrations mount. Grammy award winning music producer Pharrell Williams sat with Don Lemon of CNN to discuss his disappointment on how things were handled in Ferguson.
Many celebrities have stepped up in support of the protesters in Ferguson, mostly from the Hip Hop community to shed light on this sensitive topic, its roots buried in a dark past of brutal treatment and systematic oppression through institutions such as slavery and even more recent struggles for civil rights. During the interview when asked of his opinion on the situation, Pharrell says the officer should be punished for using excessive force.
“What did I think of Ferguson? I’m disappointed,” Pharrell said in his CNN interview. “I’m disappointed in the way it was handled from the government side. I think that officer should be punished because that was excessive force. That was excessive force. All those shots, where those shots were. The idea that that child laid on the ground, he’s a child. I know he’s 6’2”, 6’3”, something like that, but he’s a child. Okay? He was laying on the ground for hours. That kid didn’t ask to get killed and so I feel like that officer should be punished. At the same time, we gotta start looking at ourselves too because we are feeling hunted and we need to be able to avoid these things. Sometimes it’s unavoidable.”
No arrest has been made although incriminating video and audio evidence has since surfaced, further proving the the death of Mike Brown to be senseless, and result of a deeper issue between races in the United States. Pharrell criticized the CNN anchor for the overall coverage the media has chosen to cover saying,
“I was disappointed that while we had so much peaceful protesting going on, what the media chose to cover most of all, and highlight, was the random few people that threw molotov cocktails, random people that had guns on them, random incidents where— I mean, not random really, but self motivated rioting that was going on and some of the looting of the stores.”
CNN anchor Don then defended the media by saying,
“The cameras are drawn to where the action is, thats why we were focused on volunteers and people doing good things”
Despite the back and forth concerning media transparency, the two both agreed that these protests will mark a turning point in our history’s struggle for equality. Williams is quoted as saying,
“This is a deeper laceration in this country, If you think this is gonna blow over, this is gonna be the longest hangover in race relations ever. Wanna know why? ‘Cause we thought we had gotten so far, but now there are certain people that are like, ‘Man they shouldn’t put the tape out of him being in the store, that ain’t got nothing to do with the crime.’ You absolutely right. But, I come from a Black family, my Grandma would have said, ‘Let me see that other tape too.’ And you would get a beating from that.”
In the interview, Pharrell mentions that President Obama’s presence would help ease tensions and help get to the bottom of this situation, as he is the nations leader who happen to be part black. Check out the video below.
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