Rapper Bun B’s 2016 Confrontation With Trump Supporter Sees Rebirth After Charlottesville, Va.

 Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Last year, rapper Bun B attended the Republican National Convention and documented his experience for Vice. During the event, the rapper-turned-professor got into a verbal altercation with a Donald Trump supporter after the supporter gave him the middle finger. Now, a year later, the video is making the rounds again.

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Most people sharing the video have assumed it’s more recent than last year, especially after the incidents in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, but make no mistake: Bun B still has a few words for all the white supremacists and other white people out there.

“I think it’s important for people to know this is an old video,” Bun B told Fader. “This isn’t six months after the election; this is six months before. This is how emboldened these people were at the time that Trump was on the road verbalizing this divisive rhetoric. They were already emboldened by what Trump was saying on the campaign trail before he even had the Republican nomination. It was just as explicit then, but now there’s more of them. They’ve built their numbers up significantly.”

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The rapper also had a few words of advice for white people who don’t want to be associated with white supremacists, and it’s pretty simple: Call them out on their shit.

“It’s easier to point them out when they’re marching with torches, and doing Nazi chants and Nazi salutes and carrying Confederate flags and whatnot. But there are a lot of other people who don’t visibly express their racism in public on a daily basis,” Bun B said. “They know who their racist neighbor is, they know who their racist co-worker is, they know who their racist family members are. White America has to make a decision about what side of history they’re going to stand on.”

The rapper says that in one respect, those who are against racism should be more like the white supremacists who were seen in Charlottesville, with their guns strapped and ready to pop off: They have to prove they’re willing to die for what’s right.

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“They’re willing to die for their hate; we have to be willing to die for our love and for the future of this world,” he stated.

Bye, Kinja! It's been fun (occasionally).

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DISCUSSION

iniquitydenmother
IniquityDenMother

The rapper also had a few words of advice to white people who don’t want to be associated with white supremacists, and it’s pretty simple: call them out on their shit.

I had an article-sized pile of word vomit, but I’ve deleted most of it. All I can tell you as the daughter of a racist: you have to call them on their shit. (And here is where I thank whatever deity is out there that my Mom raised me to be kinder and more open-minded than my father.)

I know you think you can’t call your friends and family on this shit. I know it’s uncomfortable, because I’ve had a LOT of uncomfortable conversations with my father. But you have to do this. Because you allow racism to become an accepted part of conversation and society when you don’t call it out. Sending money to a GoFundMe or marching in the occasional rally are great - keep doing that - but that stuff isn’t enough.

I’m not saying if that if you’re 100 lbs soaking wet that you walk up to an armed alt-right shithead and tell him he’s a shithead. I mean, that would be simultaneously terrifying and satisfying as hell, but I really don’t want to see people get hurt. And the alt-right only seem to care if their own people get hurt...and seem to love hurting anyone who aren’t their people. (Until the arrest warrants come out, and then they cry like the little babies they are.) But if you are in a space with your friends or family or on social media - you need to start calling it out. Hate starts at home, and you gotta stop it there, too.

If you think it doesn’t work - well, I had a big blow-out with my Dad this spring. He said racist shit, and when I asked him not to, he doubled-down on his “rights” to use the language. I ended up leaving him to find his own way home after telling him how wrong he was. Ever since? He’s been better on social media (at least within what I’m permitted to see), and at a recent, long-planned family gathering, he didn’t talk about politics or Trump or let any racist shit come up for 4 whole days (again, at least within my hearing). So that was one racist wasn’t allowed normalize hate for a few days at least. He may be too old to not be a racist, but he sure as hell isn’t too old to learn how to STFU about it.

(The rest of my family think I just need to “let your father be your father.” They’ve somehow forgotten my late mother never let him go there.)

One step at a time, one person at a time. Don’t think it doesn’t start with you, because it absolutely does. And the phrase you’re looking for is “That’s not okay.” Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.