News: Nas Says Guilt & Ignorance Plague America, Fuel Widespread Racism [Video]

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 4:05PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rap veteran Nas recently gave his take on racism and justice in the United States in light of the controversy surrounding slain teenager Trayvon Martin's shooter George Zimmerman being acquitted earlier this month.

In Nas' perspective, guilt and ignorance are key elements to fueling racism in America.

"It's guilt. It's guilt, it's ignorance -- we tend to judge each other," Nas said in an interview when asked about race and justice in America. "If I don't know something about you, Anderson, I'm going to judge you based on a bad experience I had with another white person. If you don't know me and you walk down the street and you see me, my pants are hanging, you're going to assume the worst. We need to learn how to deal with each other, basically, because we're starting to, at this point, America's looking barbarian." (CNN)

A few days ago, President Barack Obama acknowledged the struggle most African American men experience due to their race in a public speech.

"There are very few African-American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars," Mr. Obama said. "That happens to me--at least before I was a senator." The remarks, delivered without a teleprompter, were a striking example of America's first black president seeking to guide the country's thinking on race without inflaming racial tensions or undermining the judicial system. They also amounted to Mr. Obama's most pointed comments about race since his 2008 presidential campaign. Mr. Obama issued a brief statement the day after the Martin verdict was handed down. He urged calm and compassion, noting that "a jury has spoken." Missing, though, was any personal reflection from a president with a unique perspective on the matter. (Wall Street Journal)

Last year, the rap veteran spoke on Martin losing his life at Zimmerman's hands.

"This has been going on since the beginning of America. So it's just amazing that this young man's life has become something to pull us all together to try to protest against racism. It's sad that someone this young had to come to that kind of cowardice violence, you know what I'm saying. Does Hip Hop have a responsibility [to speak out]? Of course. Hip Hop has many responsibilities. Does Hip Hop as a whole? No. There's too much going on for Hip Hop as a whole to focus on one thing, but yeah. Trayvon was Hip Hop. He was one of us. So of course we have a responsibility to do something. Something. (SOHH)

He also previously expressed his disgust over the teen's untimely death.

"You never wanna hear that kind of news. When it happens, you remember how many Trayvon incidents happen every day all over the world and have been happening. It doesn't seem like the race problem will ever get solved. There's a sickness that needs healing that this guy [George] Zimmerman is dealing with. And all the Zimmermans around the world, they're dealing with hatred, ignorance, sickness, and they're living in fear so I'm rocking my hoodie for my man." (Hot 97)

Check out Nas' interview:

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