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Chuck D Speaks On #BlackLivesMatter (Video)

The full transcript of Chris Cuomo's interview of Chuck D from CNN's New Day on July 12, 2016:

CHRIS CUOMO: Here to weigh in on the shootings, policing, race in America: hip-hop legend Chuck D. Chuck, good to have you on the show. It's important to have this conversation with you today.

CHUCK D, LEADER OF RAP GROUP PUBLIC ENEMY: Yes — even at this early hour out here. How are you doing, Chris?

[CNN Graphic: 'Rapper Chuck D On Deadly Shootings & Race']

CUOMO: I know. You're on the West Coast. I appreciate you making the effort.

You've been writing; you've been thinking; and you've been discussing the problems with policing — especially in urban communities — for decades. I grew up listening to your music; and making me think about what was going on in the world that I knew — in the world that I didn't. What do you believe to be the disconnect today between police and the people who are policed?

CHUCK D: A lack of communication; a lack of education on how we are as a people — a total population inside this country. And not just inside this country — there seems to be a lack of education on people in the world. The situation in Dallas is the worst thing that ever happened — after the worst thing that ever happened; after the worst thing that ever happened; after the worst thing that ever happened.

And I think when it comes down to a movement like Black Lives Matter, these people who were born after [the] Rodney King rebellion have been deferred, and — and as far as understanding what the hell is going on when they see these acquittals; and yet, the same brutality that's been going on since the — since the beginning of this time. But if people want to recognize a time — the '80s, during Reagan and Bush, was a real turbulent period, with guns and drugs. It came in an influx in the community. And the police brutality only increased. And the beginnings of my group, Public Enemy — a lot of people thought it was a policeman in the scope. No, that was the young black person — a young black male inside the scope.

So, this disconnect that's going on right about now, I think what people feel is that Black Lives Matter is this — this violent movement. It's not what it is. It's a movement against the violence. What it is, is a collective of a lot of people speaking out against it. It's about — almost like in the '60s, when you had people protesting against Vietnam. You had all types of people. You have all types of people part of Black Lives Matter. You have all kinds of people that's actually coming out and speaking about this. And you have young people out there who are part of the Black Lives Matter movement who have parents and relatives as police officers.

[CNN Graphic: 'Chuck D On Black Lives Matter Movement']


CHUCK D: So, it's about making a statement where these voices have been squashed.

CUOMO: But we also have to move past this polarizing negativity on both sides — whether it's people who, in the name of supporting the police, say — you know, the blacks; the African-Americans; the — the minority communities — they're the problem, because they don't comply and they create problems; or it's the people on the fringes of the protest movement—

[CNN Graphic: 'Chuck D On Bridge (sic) Divide Between Police & Communities']

CHUCK D: How — how, Chris — how long has that been going — how long has that statement been going on?

CUOMO: It's been going on a long time—

CHUCK D: Ah, these people—

CUOMO: All of this has been going on a long time—

CHUCK D: A long time — probably since 1619, you know?

CUOMO: So how do we get past it?

CHUCK D: All lives — all — 'all lives matter' is a — is a great statement, but all the way up to this point, that wasn't even mentioned until Black Lives Matter came into effect. You know, this — this has been something where I think this generation — these last two generations are saying — you know, all this — I don't understand these acquittals. Yet, the murders — what is going on here? And I think that the other side has to realize that you got to get ready to know the dynamic of people.

We want young people, young adults. We want our people growing into their 30s and 40s to turn from being dynamite into dynamic. But education — understanding that they have a chance in this economic system that they think is BS; the environment; and also, have a say so in enforcement — that has to be a narrative that people feel that they're a part of. And they've felt that it's been lies the whole times

CUOMO: Well, but how do we do that, because—

CHUCK D: Especially if all — if they're 30 years old, how do we do that? Number one—

CUOMO: But, Chuck, here — but here's what I'm asking you. Look, where we came up, and when we came up, there was all this talk about how there was not enough color in the police force. It was too white. So then, they had this big push, and they brought in diversity into the police force, and you have it now. And then, it was, we don't have cultural diversity; so we had multiculturalism—

CHUCK D: We have it now?

CUOMO: Well, you have a lot more diversity in the police force than you ever had before. You have a lot more multicultural teaching than you ever had before. You have hip-hop, which is a mainstream cultural dynamic — probably the dominant cultural influence in the country right now — and yet, we seem to have the exact same problems. That's the confusion that I'm bringing to you.

CHUCK D: The confusion is in the education — which you might say is diverse. It really hasn't been. The control over economics — you might say there's people in the community; they still don't own the community. And when it comes down to enforcement, they feel that — and people feel like it's still a slave patrol. People parade around in tanks. When my father was growing up in Harlem, Chris, he said police used to walk the beat. Whether they was black in Harlem, whether they was white or whatever, they knew people. They knew the dynamics of families. Families knew them. They walked the beat.

This parade around in a tank — look out my window — oh — and then, here's the quota system that we've got to make this money, so we'll stop you for a taillight. We'll tell you stop — you know, selling these CDs. We'll throw tickets for jaywalking. This does not spell that everything is okay, now that we have a diversity in the police force. It's still the same old game, Chris.

CUOMO: Look, we're still seeing the same problems — that's for sure. The question is, how do you move past it? I'm sure you'd like to see some progress as part of your legacy on this. You say conversation. [A Tribe Called Quest's Q-] Tip said we need conversation—

CHUCK D: Hey, Chris—

CUOMO: But how do we have them and with whom?

CHUCK D: Chris —Chris, COINTELPRO — COINTELPRO ain't never stopped. Number one, the media has detached older black folks out of the narrative. It would be great to have a [Harry] Belafonte or a [Louis] Farrakhan or a Maxine Waters continue the talk on and lessen the gap, not just between older blacks who kind of understand the (unintelligible) game — a Dick Gregory — and just younger blacks, but just younger people in general that's able to see older blacks spell it out for them.

This whole — well, the young people are going to have all the answers when it comes — and you see five talking heads on television all competing against each other. And then, you have a breaking news come out, you're going to flash over to the breaking news and leave the narrative. Young folks, the last 30 years, said, this is BS. This is some garbage. Then, they see the political turmoil that's coming on; and they say, oh, politicians [are] just about the same old game right here.

What do you expect in movement? One thing we appreciate with the movement that people are becoming less individualized; and they are collecting and coming together and making a statement — because they're ignored by the media. They're ignored by the politics. They're ignored by the country. And they're even gravitating to other places around the world who are looking at the United States of America as a crazy place that can't get it together—

CUOMO: Well—

CHUCK D: Asphyxiatied and attached to the gun. When the President comes out and says, look, we've got to do something about the guns — and then, the NRA goes into their laughing mode, and everybody says, yeah, sure; you've got a couple of months. You're going to be out of there. I mean, what do you think he's got to say about this?

CUOMO: Chuck D, you're raising good points and good questions. We'll hear what the President has to day today when he's down in Dallas; and let's continue this conversation as we move forward. Let's not let it stall out. All right?

CHUCK D: Education will help the anger, but the anger's already there. So, you want to diffuse the anger with some real answers that gives somebody a chance of being dynamite into dynamic.

CUOMO: I agree. 'Dynamite into dynamic' — it's a good line from a man who knows how to write them. Chuck D, be well.


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