It Doesn’t Matter If Lil Wayne Isn’t Cool With Black Lives Matter (Commentary)

He’s “no f—ing politician”

The opinions expressed by Lil Wayne are solely his own and do not represent the views of the entire black population.

Lil Tunechi received immense criticism for his “Nightline” interview that aired Tuesday night where he stated that he doesn’t care about the Black Lives Matter movement because it has nothing to do with him.

“I am a young, black, rich motherf–er. If that don’t let you know that America understand black motherf–ers matter these days, I don’t know what it is,” Wayne said when reporter Linsey Davis asked for his thoughts on Black Lives Matter. “Don’t come at me with that dumb sh–, ma’am. My life matter, especially to my b—hes.”

This wasn’t the first time Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. has come under fire for his controversial thoughts on race. In September, he said that there’s “no such thing as racism” during an interview on Fox Sports’ “Undisputed.”

Granted, Lil Wayne‘s statements were ignorant and prompted appropriate backlash, but this is what happens when you expect a person to speak out on issues pertinent to the entire black community simply because they’re black. Not everyone who has a platform to speak out on issues necessarily needs or wants to use it.

At the end of the rapper’s interview he stated that he’s “no f—ing politician,” and he’s right. He’s not. He’s also not a civil rights activist, a scholar, Black Studies major or anything else that might make him an expert on Black Lives Matter (By the way, you don’t have to be any of those things to speak out on black issues, simply being black is enough qualification to speak out on your lived experiences).

In essence, there’s no reason we should be asking Lil Wayne about anything other than his “Tha Carter V” album and expect an insightful response on the United States’ current racial climate. If we do get one, great! If not, that just means he’s normal.

Lil Wayne may be a black man and one of the most successful, influential rappers around, but he doesn’t speak for the entire black population–no one does. This practice of using the token ethnic person to be the spokesperson for their community is harmful.

The Arab-looking Muslim girl wearing a hijab at your job does not speak for all Muslims, the gay guy in your class does not speak for the entire LGBTQ community and the Hispanic girl who speaks perfect Spanish at your gym does not speak for the Hispanic population.

So while Lil Wayne’s comments may be how he truly feels — although he has since apologized according to TMZ so who actually knows– we need to stop holding only black people accountable for saying controversial things that may be detrimental to the black community.

Also, for the record, Lil Tunechi has previously acknowledged the Black Lives Matter movement during his performances and has recorded a few songs that address racism, which is why some people were a little confused about his rant during the “Nightline” interview. A few people speculated that his fame and fortune has left him out of touch with the rest of the population–which could very well be true.

Carter, as a self-proclaimed “young, black, rich motherf–er,” (emphasis on “rich”), is a prime example of what Langston Hughes was referring to in “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.”

“The Negro artist works against an undertow of sharp criticism and misunderstanding from his own group and unintentional bribes from the whites. ‘Oh, be respectable, write about nice people, show how good we are,’ say the Negroes. ‘Be stereotyped, don’t go too far, don’t shatter our illusions about you, don’t amuse us too seriously. We will pay you,’ say the whites.”

Tuesday morning, Lil Wayne tweeted something that, maybe, speaks to one of Hughes’ points:

Or maybe he could be so detached from a normal person’s experience and have his mind so clouded by his fame that he doesn’t want to disappoint his white fans by being “stereotypical.” Given Lil Wayne’s tendency to flip flop — one minute he’s chanting “Black Lives Matter” during a performance and the next he doesn’t know what it is — Weezy F Baby could still be struggling to climb his own racial mountain.