The Wu-Tang Clan member had some interesting commentary when it came to the issues black men face in this country in relation to the police. When asked how he felt about all the violence that has taken place within the past few years, he says law enforcement should refrain from cracking under pressure. And do right in a lawfully fair way. He did admit, however, that he has much appreciation for the system and what they do.
“I love what the police do for our society, I love the idea of it, to serve and protect,” he said. “Those who are upholding that idea, then they are beneficial to society. But those who lose that focus, whether they lose it through fear, through stress, or through not being properly trained—and they are allowed to go out on the streets—how can you enforce law if you don’t understand law?”
But what spurred the most controversy and backlash was his statement regarding what black people should do to prevent police brutality from happening to them. Essentially, his stance on the issue is in relation to how black men carry themselves and dress. This, of course, caused the internet to go ablaze. Here’s what he said:
“If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day—things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them,” RZA said. “I tell my sons, I say, if you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie–we live in New York, so a hoodie and all that is all good. But sometimes, you know, button up your shirt. Clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid, you know what I mean? I think that’s another big issue we gotta pay attention to. Is the image that we portray that could invoke a fear into a white officer, or any officer.”
“When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look in the mirror, at the image we portray,” he continued.
Take a look below at how folks on Twitter felt about RZA’s recent statements.
(Seems like Black Twitter got that handled lol) RT @iPRESSnPUSH: Did u air out RZA yet? I know you heard what he said. If not, plz do.
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) January 8, 2016
Adding RZA to the deportation list of offenders to be sent to the Island of Foolish and Wayward Negroes: https://t.co/ce70IuivCs
— Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) January 7, 2016
What are your thoughts on RZA’s recent statements? Is this is an issue of clothing or race? Sound-off below.