2.15.2013

Emmett Till’s Family is Rightfully Angry at Lil Wayne’s Blatant Disrespect


by Dr. Boyce Watkins


Lil Wayne and Future, two very talented hip-hop artists, have decided to push the envelope of disrespect by releasing a song called “Karate Chop.”  In the song, Lil Wayne takes the liberty of turning the mutilated face of Emmett Till into a weary s*x organ, ridiculing the agony experienced by this young man many years ago.   The matter is made even sadder by the fact that Till’s legacy was trampled by Lil Wayne, Future and Universal Records right in the middle of Black History Month.
This week, I spoke with Airickca Gordon Taylor, spokesperson for the Till family and as you can imagine, the family is outraged.
“I just couldn’t understand how he could compare the gateway to life to the brutality and punishment of death,” said Gordon Taylor.
For those of us who aren’t familiar with the story of Emmett Till (apparently, Lil Wayne already is), Till was a 15-year old boy who was beaten beyond recognition and murdered for whistling at a white woman.  Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, made the courageous decision to insist that her son be buried with an open casket so that the country could see how ugly the brutality of racial violence can become.  Mamie’s sacrifice sparked international outrage and served as part of the fuel which created the foundation for the civil rights movement.
Over 50 years later, we now have black rappers who think it’s OK to compare this 15-year old boy’s face to a v@gina.  I doubt that Dr. King would consider this to be progress.
Rev. Jesse Jackson and his associate, Bishop Tavis Grant of the Rainbow/Push Coalition have spoken up on the matter, and I’ve promised to give them my support.  So far, neither Lil Wayne nor Future has responded to the family’s call for them to stop the release of the song,  which is an astonishing show of arrogance from both of their camps.  I wonder if any of the people signing off on the song even realized that it’s now black history month?  I doubt they celebrate this sort of thing in the offices of Universal Records, since it’s easier to exploit an artist who is both ignorant and uneducated: The scariest thing in the world can be a conscientious, courageous and intelligent black man, hence the decision to mass promote black male anti-intellectualism. [Read More]