So you read the title. Free my n***a Boosie. Free my n***a TI. Free my n***a OJ Simpson. Get where Im going? No? Okay, maybe not, but Im pretty sure many of you have heard at least one of these. The free so-and-so slogans that arise when a rapper or famous person is arrested for a crime. Im a firm supporter of the innocent-until-guilty right. On the other hand, these movements are bothersome to me for several reasons.
One: What if the person is actually guilty? By guilt, I mean they’re actually caught with drugs or an unregistered weapon on their person. Then what? Do we continue our free my n***a campaigns? What are we saying about ourselves if we support individuals who break the law in these campaigns?
Two: The use of the n-word. This is not a post about the merits of the term. Its not my place to judge anyone for using it, but I do want to address it. Why should I support any campaign that speaks about freeing your n***a so-and-so? Uhh…do we expect respectable leaders to do the same? Can you imagine Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton out chanting the slogan “free my n***a MLK during the 1960s? If you answered yes, stop reading here. For others, I would answer no. The use of the n-word in a legitimate campaign that’s supposed to gain sympathy from outside supporters is ineffective in so many ways.
Three: What do we do after the free my n***a campaigns have died out? Should I wear a t-shirt everyday? It seems like these slogans are just that…slogans. They dont actually push people to do anything of worthwhile value. Seems like people are just sitting around on twitter, chanting free so-and-so, without any actual action. Give me the facts and tell me why they should be free. If it seems compelling, then you have my support.
Fourth: Free my n***a so-and-so who’s being charged for murder. Say what? Hold up? Guilty of murder? Multiple murders? Hmm…once again, we should assume innocence until proven guilty. However, being charged for murder speaks magnitudes about a person. You may not actually be guilty, but this type of charge certainly follows a person for life. Look at OJ..
Last: Where do we, as young blacks, fit into this? Should we support the free my n***a so-and-so bandwagon solely because he or she is black? What does this say about individual blacks and groups like NAACP when the individual is actually guilty? Where do we draw the line for ourselves?
I dont have all of the answers for these questions, but its something that always interested me. BTW…I looove me some Lil Boosie. He’s on all of my gym playlists. For those of you who are not familiar with Lil Boosie and his case, check out the links below.
My favorite Lil Boosie joint!!