When it comes to the current racial tensions that are coming more and more prevalent in the country these days, it’s hard to speak out without having all of the facts. Many minorities and police officers seem to be looking at each other as enemies in a certain manner, and harassment cases seem to only be increasing. Recently, RZA made some controversial statements about minority youth wearing “improper” outfits while they’re out in public, and how they need to dress more properly in order to avoid being targeted by authorities.
Read more on RZA’s police brutality comments on the following pages.
RZA explained, “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. I tell my sons, I say, if you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie – we live in New York, so a hoodie and all that is all good. But sometimes, you know, button up your shirt. Clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid, you know what I mean? I think that’s another big issue we gotta pay attention to. Is the image that we portray that could invoke a fear into a white officer, or any officer.”
Why it’s controversial
RZA is not making an invalid point by pointing out the outfits of minority youth, however individuals should not be targeted by those that are ordered to “serve and protect” them just because of those who dressed improperly and were considered threats. The actions of some in a group of people does not determine the actions of all, despite how the outfits and appearance may seem similar.