As the number of supporters for the movement has grown more robust with each highly-publicized death of black people at the hands of law enforcement, the movement has largely relied on social media to spread its message. In a new poem by T.I. titled “United We Stand,” the rapper highlights the need for social media efforts to be taken into the real world. Scheduled to air on TV One’s Triumph Awards, Tip’s poem urges the masses not to solely rely on hashtags to try and affect change.
Calling off the names of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Walter Scott and Sandra Bland, T.I. questions the motivations of some people who may not genuinely be looking to advance the movement. He also noted that DMs, likes and comments “make us slaves,” and called out anyone who looks to use the Black Live Matter slogan in an effort to increase their “follower count.” Proclaiming that “society’s issues are deeper than social media,” Tip also called out people who adorn their t-shirts with the slogan, and don’t do much else.
Read and watch the full “United We Stand” poem by T.I. below. The Triumph Awards airs on Saturday (Oct. 3).
United we stand/ Because we created a hashtag for Sandra Bland
Jumped off the front of the ship and dove into the Internet waves
Swimming with DMs, likes, comments/ Not noticing how much it makes us slaves
Chained by man-made device small enough to fit into the palm of our hand
I guess that’s made it easy to swipe to the left and scroll to the next
And forget about Sandra Bland
United we stand
Because we wore hoodies and t-shirts that read ’Black Lives Matter’
But, ’Quick homie take this flick
Gotta make sure all my followers see this fresh ’fit’
Are we really about the movement or more concerned with our follower count growing fatter?
Secondary to revolutionary does not exist
Our society’s issues are deeper than social media posts, there’s a long list
And if you think solely making them a trending topic will solve them
Well, then, you’re a part of the problem
We are Trayvon Martin
We are Jordan Davis
We are Eric Garner
We are Tamir Rice
We are Walter Scott
We are Eric Harris
We are Freddie Gray
And We are Sandra Bland
United we stand.