If you haven’t been listening to The Ringer’s Higher Learning, co-hosted by Van Lathan—who might be taking home an Oscar very soon—and The Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay, you’ve been missing your blessing.
Twice a week, the undeniable chemistry between the two is on full display as they tackle everything from pop culture to politics. And in recent months, their popular podcast has featured everyone from Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield dissecting the importance of Judas and the Black Messiah to their own parents shedding light on Van and Rachel’s humble origins.
On their latest episode, songstress Andra Day stopped by to discuss her lead role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. But the conversation took an interesting turn when Van pointed to former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover as a reoccurring theme throughout decades of plight for our people.
“There’s a through-line between all of these stories of destabilization of movements, and that through-line is J. Edgar Hoover,” he says.”Whether or not we’re talking about Judas and the Black Messiah, whether we’re talking about The United States vs. Billie Holiday, whether we’re talking about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, all of this stuff. I said on an earlier podcast that I thought J. Edgar Hoover’s name should be taken off of the federal building in Washington because he, to me, is a cultural war criminal. After playing [Billie Holiday] and getting into how this was, what do you think about a movement to take J. Edgar Hoover’s name off the federal building?”
“I 100 percent support that,” Day replied. “To me, when you say you want to build a monument or we have a statue or we have his name on the capital building, it’s the same as saying, ‘Oh, well we have Hitler’s name up there.’ Why would we do that?”
She continued, “It was just the brilliance of subtlety. Just how diabolically genius it was in being so subtle in dismantling our community and everything he hated. So yes, I think for me he is the Hitler for Black people, and for people of color and for marginalized communities in America. He’s responsible for so many deaths and I don’t think people really understand the scope of one man’s power when he was alive.”
She wasn’t done there.
“He’s been able to successfully cement himself in this nation as a hero and a pillar of righteousness and civic duty. And the man was a demon,” she added. “One of my biggest passions is to tell the truth about his legacy.”
That sound you just heard was a mic drop because the “Rise Up” singer told the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help her God. Much respect to her for having the courage to come correct about a dude who literally terrorized Black folks for a living, and to Van and Rachel for creating the perfect platform for Day to do so.
You can listen to the full episode in its entirety here.