"How do we address and hold accountable those who create, allow and prolong the darkness?"
After sharing an open letter to President Obama in the New York Times, T.I. has now penned a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump. With Trump's inauguration taking place later this week, Tip takes the opportunity to ask the soon-to-be-President some questions, as well as expressing his concerns, in an attempt to give Trump a chance to work with African Americans. The letter has been published in Rolling Stone. Read excerpts from the piece below.
Maybe I should take the time to share what many of US would like you to see. Should it ever at times seem as though WE are against YOU, I assure you it's a result of YOU defining yourself as the representative for those who are and who always have been against US. The deck has always been stacked against US in this country. With every generation there has been strategic steps taken to oppress, imprison and control US. All we've ever wanted was equality and empathy as the historically disenfranchised citizens that we are, in a nation that we've contributed to just as much as anyone else who calls America their home.
T.I. later points out the outrage over Colin Kaepernick's peaceful protest, and the many issues that haven't received the same amount of attention.
We do so much as take a knee during the national anthem and it's looked upon as Un-American. Yet and still, as many of US continue to live in life-threatening, unspeakable conditions with poisonous water systems, failing schools, broken criminal justice systems, lack of decent healthcare and affordable housing, all while scraping for a basic living wage many of US are still fighting to find our way.
He then stresses that those responsible for "creating, allowing, and prolonging" darkness in the country should be held accountable.
One of the most prolific figures of all time, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. eloquently paraphrased Victor Hugo when asked about the turmoil and state of the Black community. He shared, “Where there is darkness, crimes will be committed. The guilty one is not merely he who commits the crime but he who caused the darkness.”
I can’t help but ask on behalf of all of US … how do we address and hold accountable those who create, allow and prolong the darkness?
He closes with one final question for Trump.
As we continue to go on together as a nation, I apologize in advance for the friction and hostility that inevitably comes with US feeling years of pain, neglect, resentment and not being heard. I am hopeful that we will not go and repeat the mistakes of the past. I am hopeful that we will all work to right our wrongs and become better men and women and a better nation.
In closing, I can’t help but ask one final question man to man. A simple yet profound question recently asked of me. “When the stage is dark and the lights and cameras are off … Who are you? And more importantly, who do you want to be?”
Read the full letter at Rolling Stone, and listen to T.I. read it below. Fellow Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz recently made headlines for turning down an invitation to perform at Trump's inauguration. Read the story here.