Exclusive: Talib Kweli On Boston Bombings: "To Use Violence On That Level Proves We're Still Barbarians"

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 7:25PM

Written by SOHH for Talib Kweli

[With the world still shaken up over Monday's Boston bomb attacks, outspoken New York hip-hop artist Talib Kweli shares his thoughts with SOHH readers about the commotion it has sparked amongst Americans.]

First off, it's a tragedy. There was an eight-year-old boy who was one of the two people killed amongst the 150 or so injured and it's just a shame to see something like that.

The Howard Zinn quote [I posted on Twitter] speaks to the loss of innocent life and how much of a shame it is. It's important to note that the quote I quoted from Howard Zinn was not in criticizing some Middle East terrorism situation, it was him criticizing our own government, the United States government.

We bomb innocent people, we kill innocent people all the time. As a matter of fact, just yesterday the United States, we had a bomb that killed 20 people at a wedding in Afghanistan. This wasn't a military thing. This was a mistake and we killed 20 innocent people. You never see stories like that on the news. 37 innocent people were killed in Iraq yesterday. We can't place the blame directly on the United States but we certainly got involved in Iraqi conflict.

So it's important to remember that we live in a world that innocent people die from stuff like this all the time. American life is not worth more than anyone's lives. So violence begets violence. If we want to see the end of violence now, we have to stop being so violent in other people's countries.

What we're seeing are the consequences of these situations. The world is now catching up to us. We now have to live in a world that everyone else has to live in. So because everyone else has to worry about suicide bombers and bombings on home soil, because we choose to participate in that for our own interests, we now have to deal with the same atrocities.

I'm not down with war at all. I'm not a pacifist but war and that type of behavior, whoever did that in Boston, that is like the worse in human humanity. That's like the most uncivilized we can be. To use violence on that level proves that we're still barbarians. We're not civilized.

The Brooklyn-based rapper earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. His travels around the globe as one of rap's most in-demand performers combined with his conversations with political activists and his genre-straddling work with Idle Warship and others caused Kweli to realize that he was limited in a sense, a prisoner of sorts of his own success as one of the world's best rappers with something significant to say.

Photo credit: Anna Sian

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