Many fans of the RZA yelled a resounding “Et tu, RZA?” last week when the Wu-Tang Clan founder spoke about police brutality and how black people should dress better in order to prevent them from being profiled and brutalized by cops.
“When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look, in the mirror at the image we portray,” RZA stated during his Bloomberg interview. “If I’m a cop, and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day—things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them.”
Yeah, tell that to James Blake and every other black person who was “properly” dressed when they were brutalized by police officers.
The backlash RZA felt was swift and deserved. Over the weekend, the rapper attempted to further clarify those statements and his take that “all lives matter.”
Interestingly enough, some felt that RZA might have been attempting to appease the cops because a homicide case to which he is alleged to be connected could be reopened. Others felt that he was just another gentrified rapper who has hung out with the likes of Russell Crowe and Quentin Tarantino too long, and has forgotten where he comes from.
Either way, what RZA fails to understand is that without his famous white friends walking with him down the streets of New York City, whether or not he’s wearing a button-up shirt, the only thing that makes him a target is his blackness. The police wouldn’t give a crap about his kung fu movies or rap music.