Since bursting on the scene with hits like “Like a Pimp” and “Get Like Me,” Mississippi rapper David Banner has transformed himself into an activist who spends a lot of time speaking about Black folks and race in America.

Banner recently stopped by ESSENCE Live to talk about his upcoming album, The God Box, and had some interesting things to say about who’s responsible for racism in America. 

From Banner’s perspective, Black folks need to start blaming ourselves for how we’re treated by whites.

According to Banner, after he landed a number one hit and toured the world, what he saw bothered him.

“For the most part, what people got of Black men globally was rap videos and reality TV shows. And honestly, we looked like monkeys,” he said. “When I took that trip and got a chance to see what I was actually a part of, I was fulfilling the goals of white supremacy.”

Later in the interview Banner adds, “White supremacy only respects two things: a loss of life and a loss of finances. Until Black people threaten one of two things they will forever continue to do what they do. So, instead of blaming an external source, blame yourself. Until we blame ourselves we will never change the things that are going on with our women, with our own lives and with our communities. We are the problem.”

While many will no doubt agree with Banner’s message of personal responsibility, believing Black folks can erase racism and white supremacy by merely being good, responsible people runs counter to our entire history in this country.

Even those that do portray positive images (i.e. the Obamas), or are economically independent (i.e. Oprah) are still denigrated and dismissed by racists. So it’s going to take more than threatening white lives and/or being respectable to end systematic white supremacy around the globe.

What do you think of Banners comments? Weigh in below! 

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  • Petty Levert

    I’m amazed that the poet that brought us the great love song called “Play” is shi*ting respectability politics out of his hole. Dear David Banner, Shut the fu*k up.