“we will not stand for your merry little song”
Vic Mensa pens a powerful message to the NFL.
This article originally appeared in The Sounding Off Issue, no. 350, Winter 2017.
As part of the Sounding Off issue, we invited a number of rappers, singers, shakers and thinkers to write personal essays about the things that matter to them most.
Vic Mensa's elegantly potent words on the African-American resistance to symbols of colonisation and servitude dropped into our inbox shortly before going to print. An impressive orator and committed activist, Vic's message holds real, true power.
LETTER TO THE NFL
We are not your livestock. We do not exist to bear the brunt of your people's insatiable appetite for blood and bones. I regret to inform you that a black man can no longer be held as property in this great nation, and thus will not forfeit his First Amendment right to freedom of speech simply because he has stepped foot on a football field. To Trump, the "sons of bitches" you should be addressing are those that wrote your constitution, which I am doubtful that you've ever read. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, more deserving of your criticism are the "dumb" laws of the nation you pledged to serve and the "disrespectful" policies your congress has passed into law. We are not fooled by your partisan politics, the United States of America was built on the exploitation of people like me and [American Football quarterback Colin] Kaepernick, and it is ingrained in the very anthem you sing. Without racism and the destruction of the black body, there is no America. Point, blank, period. We recognise THIS truth to be self-evident, that all men ARE NOT created equal in this country and there has NEVER been liberty and justice for all. So until the police officers that killed Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Anthony Lamar Smith in St. Louis, and Philando Castile in Minneapolis begin serving concurrent life sentences for their cold-blooded executions, we will decline to stand for your hypocritical flag. Until the water in Flint, Michigan flows as clearly as a faucet in the Hamptons, we will not stand for your merry little song. Please, try replacing the black man on your football field. I'd love to see you competing with hockey for ratings.
Power to the People