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“I’m Not Racist”

2,564 words

One of the more arresting things coming out of the hip hop world just these past few days is a video from black rapper Joyner Lucas. It’s called “I’m Not Racist” and, since its November 28 release, it has gone viral, racking up tens of millions of views on Facebook and millions more on YouTube. It’s more spoken word material than rap per se, given its minimal instrumentation and virtual lack of an explicit beat or percussion. A person who knows nothing of English would probably not be able to distinguish it from countless freestyle performances at poetry slams across the country. That is, it’s a narrative told in desperate earnest with solid rhythm, clever wordplay, and cheating rhyme. At best, the people who weave such yarns have little more to offer than attitude, a tolerable control of the English language, and a mastery of the litany of things black people like to complain about in America.

As a result, the genre suffers. Every once in a while, however, someone comes around to shake things up, as if to keep whitey from getting too complacent about popular music. The result, in the case of “I’m Not Racist,” is something truly interesting and worthy of further consideration.

The scene takes place in a warehouse in which a stereotypical white and a stereotypical black engage in a nasty, profanity-ridden dialogue. In the first half of the song, the white chews out the black. And in the second half of the song, the black chews out the white. The white guy comes equipped with his workman jeans, rolled-up sleeves, and MAGA hat. He’s bearded and tubby and looks like he grew up on a steady diet of country music and classic rock, and has a copious supply of beer in the fridge in his garage right next to the car he’s always working on. The brother, on the other hand, is very dark-skinned and has the bling, the dreds, the sporting jersey, and the all the attitude one would expect from a person who chooses to look like that.

See the video now before reading further. Truly, you must see it.

What first struck me about the video was that it wasn’t the white guy who was rapping. He was moving his lips and synching well. His facial expressions and hand and body mannerisms were perfect. Perhaps he’s an actor or a rapper himself, or just someone who really identifies with the subject matter. In any case, it took me about ten seconds to realize that no Caucasian can sound like that. Joyner Lucas intends to rap from both perspectives and play them against each other. A little “negative capability.” Nice.

I next realized that, on the white side at least, Lucas did not intend to hold back. Indeed, he puts into the mouth of his white interlocutor many of things I’ve been wanting to say to black people for over twenty years, but with more rhyme and syncopation and fewer references to The Bell Curve. And all those glorious F-bombs and N-bombs? Yeah, about that much. Here’s how it starts:

With all due respect I don’t have pity for you black niggas
That’s the way I feel
Screamin’ “Black Lives Matter”
All the black guys rather be deadbeats than pay your bills
Yellin’ nigga this and nigga that
Call everybody nigga and get a nigga mad
As soon as I say nigga then everyone react
And want to swing at me and call me racist ‘cuz I ain’t black!

You pound that then
Talkin’ ‘bout slavery like you was around back then
Like you was pickin’ cotton off the fuckin’ ground back then
Like you was on the plantation getting’ down back then!
I see a black man aimin’ his gun
But I’d rather see a black man claimin’ his son
And I don’t mean just for one day and you done
I mean you still trapped in a rut
I work my ass off to pay my taxes for what?
So you can keep living off free government assistance
Food stamps for your children
But you still tryin’ to sell it for some weed or some liquor
Or a fuckin’ babysitter
While you party on the road ‘cuz you ain’t got no fuckin’ goals?
You already late
You motherfuckers need to get ya damn’ priorities straight
It’s like you proud to be fake
But you lazy as fuck
And you rather sell drugs than get a job and be straight
And then you turn around and complain about the poverty rate?
Fuck outta my face!

It goes on, and it only gets better. What we have here is something pretty rare in our mainstream society these days. This isn’t a gentle tut-tut about the behavior of black people. Nor is it sanitized newscaster criticism of their misbehavior. Nor is it tough love, the kind dished out so often by what I call the Jock Right.

No, no. This is something else entirely. This is what we call contempt. And it’s real. Seriously, how often in our mainstream society do we see such bald, ugly, and candid contempt for what blacks do to themselves and everyone else unlucky enough to be around them?

As the white rap moves to its crescendo, Lucas skewers black people for the racist and childish blame game they always play, for clinging to stupid, deceased-rapper role models, and for willfully remaining in the vicious cycle of drugs, crime, and poverty which is currently eating them alive in our formerly great cities. At one point (and I am speechless in gratitude for this) the white rapper says:

Buncha class clowns.
Niggas kneelin’ on the field, that’s a flag down
How dare you try to make demands for this money
You gonna show us some respect
You gonna stand for this country, nigger!

That last line? Yeah, the white dude gets in the brother’s face when he says it. Or, shouts it, really. And it ain’t “nigga.” It’s “nigger,” said the way the word is supposed to be said.

Do you know how many fucking times I have wanted to say that? I think my systolic blood pressure count has gone down a point or two after hearing that line about a couple dozen times now.

It’s clear Joyner Lucas doesn’t have mere familiarity with white frustration with blacks. He also has respect for it. (Shocking, I know.) Interspersed among all the well-placed barbs is the throwaway line, “I’m not racist.” Is it believable? Is “be the reality of seem” here? Or is Lucas alluding to the fact that Americans—especially the white ones—are forced these days to provide such a humiliating caveat before uttering anything about race in public? Even if it rings as hollow as a tin bell?

There’s something else about this song that craves comment. (I know I should just let you watch the video and judge it for yourselves, but there is so much good stuff here I can’t help myself.) In referencing Eminem’s recent anti-Trump rant, the white guy says:

I heard Eminem’s rap at the awards
Who’s he fightin’ for?
Y’all can take that motherfucker too
He ain’t white no more!

It makes me sad to think it takes a black man to remind white people to have racial pride. Yes, evict Eminem from the ranks of the whites. He doesn’t deserve to be with us.

When the white rap finishes, a glance at the time at the bottom of the screen reveals we are about halfway through the song. Okay, so the black guy will soon have his rejoinder. But can he, or anyone, rejoin against that?

The answer is, he cannot. The black perspective in this song is, quite frankly, weak and unconvincing. It’s full of self-pity and childish anger, signifying nothing. Here’s how it starts:

With all disrespect I don’t really like you white motherfuckers
That’s just where I’m at
Screamin’ all lives matter is a protest to my protest
What kind of shit is that?
And that’s one war you’ll never win
The power in the word nigger is a different sin
We shouldn’t say it but we do and that’s just what it is
But that don’t mean you can say it just ‘cuz you got nigger friends!
That was originated for you to keep us under
But when we use it when know that’s just how we greet each other
But when you use it we know there’s a double meaning under
And even if I wasn’t pickin’ cotton physically
That don’t mean I’m not affected by the history
My grandmamma was a slave, that shit gets to me
And you ain’t got no motherfucking sympathy, you pussy nigga!

He’s right, you know. We don’t have any sympathy, nor should we. Whites and people of other races have endured far worse than what American blacks have in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and have rarely if ever resorted to the kind of stupid and savage behavior you find in black neighborhoods, cities, and countries every day. Is Joyner really trying to make lack of sympathy into an excuse for this sort of thing?

It’s hard to elevate when this country is ran by whites
Judging me by my skin color and my blackness
Trying to find a job and ain’t nobody call me back yet
Now, I gotta sell drugs to put food in my cabinet
You crackas ain’t slick
This is a part of your tactics
Don’t talk about no motherfuckin’ taxes.

There is so much stupid in this soliloquy, one does not know where to begin. First of all, if being in countries run by whites is so bad, why do black people keep coming to them? Is Joyner Lucas completely ignorant of the boatloads of African blacks that keep washing up on the shores of Europe, or the lines of them continually applying for citizenship in America? Would he prefer to live in Haiti? Ain’t nothin’ but bruthas there. Please, go. And take your family with you if you hate whitey so much.

Oh, and “ran by whites,” Mr. Lucas? Ever heard of a man named Barack Obama? How about Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, Jeh Johnson, Loretta Lynch, and Susan Rice? Any of these names ringin’ a bell for ya? Or are you blowing a gasket because these are light-skinned blacks instead of dark-skinned ones? Hey, I got a great idea! Recently deposed Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe is black. He’s black as the ace of spades. And, from what I hear, he’s got a lot of time on his hands these days. Why don’t we bring him to America and install him as our new monarch and populate the entire government with expat black Zimbabweans? It worked out so well in Africa, it’s bound to succeed here, too! And if it doesn’t, well, at least we won’t be a country run by whites anymore.

Then Lucas brings up the canard that whites pre-judge blacks by their skin color, but conveniently fails to mention how often this judgment is actually positive. Apparently, Joyner Lucas is completely oblivious to something called affirmative action, which awards blacks status, admits them to colleges, and gets them jobs simply because of their race. And this has been going on for some forty-five years now. Most of us cannot even remember a time without affirmative action, and this crybaby is complaining about racial prejudice? He only tells half the story because the other half is inconvenient for his agenda.

And nobody will call you back after a job interview? And that’s why you sell drugs? Poor baby. Like white people have never endured unemployment before (oh, and when we do, we always sell drugs, of course!). Finally, this is all part of a grand, white conspiracy. It’s part of our “tactics” to keep blacks down. Does he really believe this? Does anyone? Can he prove it?

The black rapper then goes on a typical tirade about historic oppression, cultural appropriation, systematic racism, police brutality, and negative black stereotypes, as if these can excuse high rates of murder, crime, violence, illegitimacy, corruption, and drug abuse. This is all Leftist cant, and it is all easily disproven or refuted. Meanwhile, the white guy, after delivering such a devastating condemnation of everything black, sits there and takes it. He nods sympathetically and ultimately seems somewhat mollified by his swarthy opponent, even when said swarthy opponent slaps the MAGA hat off his head and tosses a table on its end. See? Even in a balanced effort to deal with race, violence from blacks remains acceptable behavior.

Towards the end of his diatribe, the black guy says one thing surprising, one thing that is both interesting and revealing: “I love you, but I fuckin’ hate you at the same time!” I can buy that. It reveals the utter irrationality of the black position in this debate. I’m sure a spoiled child getting spanked after a violent outburst feels the same way towards his parents or his “good” older sibling. It’s what happens when you put anger, envy, immaturity, and poor impulse control in a single package. Perhaps some of these people deserve sympathy, but not when they so viciously blame their greatest benefactors for their own faults and failings. And yes, even with slavery, whites are the best friends blacks ever had. By any objective measure, we have treated them better than they have treated themselves. And if you don’t believe me, just count up the five or six million black corpses resulting from the civil wars in the Congo which raged from 1996 to 2003. That’s more than double the number of blacks who died during centuries of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. And that’s just for starters.

The video ends, really, the only way it could: with the two men reconciling and hugging each other. After rending such deep rifts in the culture these two share, and after casting such bitter aspersions upon the cultures they don’t share, such an ending is hardly believable. Yet after six minutes of trauma, the audience craves some kind of peaceful closure. From an aesthetic standpoint, a brawl or an acrimonious split would not have been appropriate.

“I’m Not Racist” is the first widely-heard rap song that I am aware of that honestly deals with racial problems in America. I call it honest because it places an unfiltered white perspective alongside the black one, which rarely gets air time, and when it does, is usually filtered. And after hearing the song and viewing the video, I think I can see why that unfiltered white perspective appears so rarely in our mainstream culture. When placed alongside the black one, the white perspective will always overpower it. It contains too much truth not to do so. The white perspective, in effect, offers evidence of black intellectual and moral inferiority, while the black perspective can only offer theories to explain why he has no evidence with which to rebut the white perspective. All he has is violence and anger, which, as Confucius say, loses the argument.

Whether Joyner Lucas realizes it or not, he has done a service to white people, especially those of us who identify as white. Maybe we are racist after all, despite the title of his brilliant new song. But if “I’m Not Racist” demonstrates anything, it’s that we are also right.

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25 Comments

  1. Peter
    Posted December 7, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m Not Racist”
    Well, I am racist 😉 . And of-course, racial separation is the only solution.
    A word to the hug at the end. After some thinking: there is truth to it. I´ll refer to an article from here at CC a while back from .. ha ha the very same author as of this article: in Remembering John C. Calhoun , we find:
    “one of the main reasons why many Southerners were reluctant to give up slavery is because they liked their slaves” (emphasis as in the original).
    I obviouly made a note of this detail because I found it remarkable… or not remarkable, if you want so. I´m an Ethno-Identitarian, I want my race to persist, I am territorial, I don´t want aliens on my territory. But do I therefore want to miss out on John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Bob Marley, Muhammed Ali, Mike Tyson etc. (huge list), hell no! So is that hug only tribute to political correctness: not necessarily!

    Let´s just have our White territories. I.e. simply our European nations, and America (+ anglo-sphere). Beside that, there can easily be areas of encounter, of (true) diversity, all to the extent that it´s appreciated by the participants (and that extent may be considerable).

    So that´s a workable solution (and it of-course maintains true diversity). So how´s that for racism, eh.

  2. Posted December 7, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    This video reminded me of the Scottish taxpayer-funded video from a few months back, “Young Fathers” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt1umirFdY4), showing a black guy throwing punches at historical portraits in a Scottish portrait gallery, except that the latter didn’t have the benefit of presenting the white POV at all.

  3. The Leveller
    Posted December 7, 2017 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    This is definitely one of those cases of the truth unconsciously creeping out of some nominally leftist artistic expression, like in Cabaret or Look Who’s Back. Mister Maga could have also pointed out the actual violence he experiences every day from Mr Bling but what was there more than sufficed.

    I know there is sometimes an alt-right view that blacks are just pawns and not worthy of major discussion but they have been the direct and consistent hammer used against us for half a century now, punching way above their weight and numbers so to speak. This is of course enabled and not just by the usual suspects either.

    Far too many whites will scorn the first verse and nod at the second, the contempt they feel for us as palpable as any other minority group.

  4. Posted December 6, 2017 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    About “the hug” at the end, all I could think, so now it’s suddenly OK to be late for work, don’t do any parenting, don’t take any responsibility? It’s suddenly OK because they had an emotional “consolation”? WTF?

    • Spencer J. Quinn
      Posted December 7, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Carefull, I agree. The hug is ludicrous. But given the constraints of the song, I don’t think there is a more appropriate ending.

  5. Riki
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Great! Great! Great! What a thoughtful, eloquent and persuasive article that has so finely dissected and dismantled the despicable black victimhood-signaling and anti-racist” posturing that constitute nothing but a morally and factually faux facade with incontestable truths, clarity and virtuosity. Bravo! Thanks to Mr. Quinn, and I’ll make a full good use of this masterpiece by spreading it to my friends and students as an interesting and enlightening educational material.

    • Spencer J. Quinn
      Posted December 7, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Riki, Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed the article. It is always gratifying when a writer makes a connection like this.

  6. Posted December 6, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to know what my leftist and largely apolitical college classmates would have said about this video had it come out a few years ago. Would they have noticed the discrepancy in body language?

    And mainly: would they have noticed that all the accusations by the white man are of black failure? While all the black man’s accusations are of white complicity in black failure?

  7. Petronius
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Silly leftist fairy tale disclaimer at the end of the video “We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us…”

  8. Petronius
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    “And if you don’t believe me, just count up the five or six million black corpses resulting from the civil wars in the Congo which raged from 1996 to 2003. That’s more than double the number of blacks who died during centuries of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.”

    Well, Belgian Congo atrocities supposedly surpassed it:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atrocities_in_the_Congo_Free_State

    • Rob Bottom
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Well, Belgian Congo atrocities supposedly surpassed it

      And the Arab slave trade surpassed that. It doesn’t mean the American slave trade was a picnic.

      However, I take issue with the line suggesting that his grandmama was a slave. That would only make sense if we read “grandmama” as grandma’s ma, and even then his great-grandmother would have had to have been born before the Civil War. Besides, with the way blacks breed (let’s say an average generation is 20 years) that puts the slaves in his family back 7 generations, not 2 or 3.

      • Petronius
        Posted December 7, 2017 at 2:30 am | Permalink

        Yeah, it’s impossible his “grandma” was a slave. I wonder if he is aware of that, or if he even knows his grandma.

      • Spencer J. Quinn
        Posted December 7, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        Rob Bottom and Petronius.

        What you both say is correct. But when you counter balance all the good whites have done for blacks (raising the standard of living in the new world) with all the negative (like in the Belgian Congo), and then compare that net sum to the mostly negative things blacks have been doing to each other for millennia, it becomes clear that whites are the best friends blacks ever had. The fact that something like 10 million of them died during the Arab trans-African slave trade and that the male survivors had to undergo castration once they reached the Muslim world also enforces this point.

        • K
          Posted December 8, 2017 at 2:17 am | Permalink

          I think they are aware of how good they have it. It isn’t by chance the scream racism at every criticism levelled at them. The black man’s diatribe is like a ungrateful adolescent appealing to his dad. Blacks understand the implicit benefit of living in white societies and this is why they don’t want separation. They would hate their own ethnostates. American blacks want an apartheid state where whites are essentially made to slave for them.

  9. Cornelius Tavington
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    While this song is notable for showing an unfiltered white perspective; unfortunately the ending of the song, the negro’s diatribe, will resonate with the majority of the audience. While in reality most whites don’t understand or can’t relate the negro’s perspective they are taught to empathize with their “struggle” in a borderline religious manner. While the white perspective contains hard truth, most people side with the emotional solipsism which they have been conditioned to be receptive of ie “Muh slavery and oppression.” The silver lining is that I have been noticing that many intelligent whites simply eschew rap music.

    • JimB
      Posted December 7, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Good points, Cornelius, and I tend to agree with your assessment.

      The overall “subtext” to the video seems to be that Whites are resentful as hell at being blamed for Black shortcomings… and that Blacks are (justifiably) resentful of our lack of understanding.

      I’ll add this: when the White dude got up in the Negro’s face and called him “nigger”, while it may be amusing to some of us, it was in reality just another jab at the average White person, a way of saying “this is how ALL of you feel about us”. Which, ironically, is probably true! lol

  10. JimB
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Watched it… understood it…

    As for the post above from Matt, with his quote from Vulture, I’m at a loss for words over the notion that Obama represented reconciliation in the first place. He did NOT. It was the deluded Whites who voted for him that carried that foolish notion in the empty skulls… and certainly not “Black America”. And the idea that Trump’s election is somehow the clincher that closes the door forever to this pipe-dream of “honest” dialog between Whites and Blacks, like he’s the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back?… is beyond intellectually dishonest. There was never a chance for reconciliation to begin with. Trump has nothing to do with something that was over and done with before he was even born.

    I’m a realist. And am only an idealist inasmuch as those ideals are rooted in realism. The only reconciliation, as far as I can see, one that’s rooted in realism… is racial separation. Divorce. The sooner more White people get it, the sooner every White attempt at reconciliation with, and reparations to, the people who use any and all excuses to hate us has been expended, the better off we’ll ALL be.

    Racial separation is the ONLY solution.

    • JimB
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      4th line in my other post should’ve read “… that foolish notion in THEIR empty skulls”

    • ster plaz
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Racial separation is the ONLY solution.

      And I say separation by making the negroes leave the continent, back to africa. Not one acre of US soil given over to them as their “territory”. No negro state contiguous with an all White nation. Lots of ocean between them.

      • JimB
        Posted December 7, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        For sure, ster plaz. I 100% agree.

    • Spencer J. Quinn
      Posted December 7, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      JimB, Indeed. Thanks.

  11. Matt
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting post… Vulture takes the complete opposite view as you and ends their piece with this little gem:

    “The notion that social divisions could be reconciled through “honest” conversation was already a dicey proposition when President Obama represented it; after 2016’s Trump election and 2017’s Trump administration, it’s gone forever. “

    • Rob Bottom
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      “The notion that social divisions could be reconciled through “honest” conversation was already a dicey proposition when President Obama represented it; after 2016’s Trump election and 2017’s Trump administration, it’s gone forever. “

      An honest conversation about race would naturally require consensus on human evolution, genetics, behavior (including ethnocentrism), and IQ, among other topics. The left’s Marxist egalitarian worldview cannot bear this out, so it has no choice but to demonize and censor the science, which explains the square-quotes. Hate-facts are a social construct.

      The left’s incessant bleating, however, is betrayed by their actions. When they flee the encroaching ghetto to live in the lily-white suburb, they’re telling everyone in no uncertain terms what they really think about race. That cognitive dissonance must be what fuels the white leftist’s urge to virtue-signal and protest.

      • JimB
        Posted December 7, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        “That cognitive dissonance must be what fuels the white leftist’s urge to virtue-signal and protest.”

        B-I-N-G-O!

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