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Music |

Vic Mensa pens essay in response to the US Presidential Election

Wednesday 16 November 2016
Words Spindle

Hip-hop artist Vic Mensa has written an essay for Billboard about his thoughts on the recent US Presidential Election, which was one of great divides. On his latest EP ‘There’s A Lot Going On,’ which came out earlier this year, Mensa explored topics including the Flint, Michigan water crisis, racial issues, and the shooting of Laquan McDonald in his hometown of Chicago, where the rapper also joined protests. In his essay Mensa tries to make sense of the outcome of Trump’s presidency, opening with, “I was kind of woozy when I first found out. Just to see such a symbol of hatred and opposition to equality be put in our nation’s highest office.”

Mensa explores the racial motivations of some rural, poor Trump supporters: “They’re hurt — and the easiest way to approach that is to blame somebody of a different race; to blame ‘the others.’ It’s a lot more difficult to identify the real structural issues that have us disenfranchised all across this nation.” He also highlighted how “This is not the first time in American history where poor people have been led to believe they’re white and have also been led to believe that their problems are the result of Mexicans, Muslims and black people,” adding, “It’s just a scapegoat technique to keep them confused and keep them from looking at their real enemies.”


His essay also details his sisters’ tearful phone calls to him after the result, no longer feeling safe as black women in America. Mensa says he realised “We’ve been pacified by having Barack [Obama] in office,” which obscured the full extent of racism and bigotry that is still prevalent in America. Even under a black president, “We’ve been getting killed in the streets by police like dogs,” Mensa states, “We already had to mother—-ing watch our back. This was not a safe place for us to begin with.” So in a way, Mensa feels the result “had to happen,” to really reveal these major issues.

Mensa encourages people to speak out against Trump and stand up to his bigotry, and he plans to continue to protest and make change, “I’ve been having conversations with people from a movement right now about creating something a lot bigger than a Black Lives Matter campaign — something very inclusive,” he wrote, adding, “For us to make real change, we’re gonna need everyone and people of all different walks of life to recognise the part that they play and how these powers at hand affect them too.” He makes a call for Americans to “Unify and decide what it is that we really believe in — that’s what we need to fight for. We can’t just fight against injustice. We gotta fight for justice.”