The Game addresses the Baltimore Uprising in an editorial called "Young Black Men Are Targets."
The last time a protest movement arose around the murder of a young black man by police, The Game was quick to respond with "Don't Shoot," a song that recruited an all-star cast of rappers to speak out against police violence. In the wake of Freddie Gray's murder, he's got another form of response: an editorial.
Written for Billboard, the essay titled "Young Black Men Are Targets" compares the current protest movement to the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, which occurred almost exactly 23 years ago. Read an excerpt below and the full thing on Billboard:
"I'm not there [in Baltimore] to gauge the balance between now and the '92 riots, but I understand the anger. I understand people wanting to be heard and being tired and fed up. I feel what happened to Freddie Gray was just another reminder of the neglect of the African-American youth in America and us as people. Look at how long we've been victims of the world. From slavery, from not being able to vote, up until our children. Young black men in general are targets. People [are] using unlawful force to take our lives. We've seen kids shot [and] beaten. We've seen everything. At the end of the day, we get fed up.
I've watched CNN the last few days, and they’ve called those kids 'thugs' and 'animals.' Everybody's not a thug, man. We're calling these young black kids and our youth 'animals' and 'thugs,' and it makes them more angry. We're doing that when you've got thugs and animals that are police officers, firemen [and] congressmen. In Jeezy's voice, you'd call that 'corporate thuggin'.'
"I don't like to think I can foresee anything, but I would hope she foresees how these kids are acting out, how they want their voices to be heard, because if there's no indictment or charges of those officers, things could get even crazier. The police really killed Freddie Gray without reasoning and provided no excuse. As a people, we're just tired. The words "animal" and "thug" [are] being tossed [around] in reference of our people, and I don't like it. When our people have been oppressed, neglected, [with] poor education, unaffordable housing, lack of resources, [lack] of rights, [fought against] police brutality [and] racism… to be looked at as "thugs" and "animals" only shows that reaching out for help and change may be the wrong thing to do.
Baltimore hasn't burned like this for 40 years plus. We've had the NAACP for over a hundred years. What have they done to prevent these things from happening? To show our youth that they're in power and strength? Some change has been implemented, but the most the NAACP, churches and community leaders have done is exist. So as a young African-American man, what are we supposed to do when all the black organizations in place have apologized and tried for change but it hasn't done much? After a while… when that doesn't work, things get crazy."