In Light Of The Protests In Ferguson, Vic Mensa Understands That The People Have All The Power
In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Vic Mensa delves into his personal experiences growing up in the inner city of Chicago as compared to the recent events in Ferguson and details his belief in the power of our nation’s citizens to turn this ship around.
“The attitude of law enforcement in America is meant to keep people in their place. It doesn’t come off as genuine. It’s power and power corrupt. It’s been a part of my whole life, you know, being a kid and riding my bike down the street in Chicago on the south side of my neighborhood, I would get stopped and the police would just question me, like, “How you doin’? We saw you yesterday.” I would be like, “No you didn’t,” and they would respond, “Yes we did, you ran from us yesterday. You have a brother? Do you have a twin brother?” That’s the type of shit we would go through, and that’s just when we were younger.”
Despite the mistreatment Vic has experienced in dealing with police officials in his hometown, Vic understands that there are both good and bad police officials. Even with this understanding, it is clear to him and others that the police themselves need some policing of their own.
“At this point in my life I’m not even saying, “Fuck the police.” That’s not my mantra. The way I feel right now is that the police need to be policed. I’ve been advocating for filming the police because I’m not trying to antagonize, I’m just trying to bring some sort of law enforcement to the law enforcement.
The same way that seeing the flashing lights puts fear in our hearts instantly, you can see with these police in Ferguson, when you put the cellphone and camera on them, and you try to get their badge number and their name, they get scared. They need to be afraid of fucking up just like we are terrified of fucking up because in can go mortifyingly wrong in an instant.
The thing is, though, even when the police do get exposed for what they’ve done wrong, they have a million ways to get around it. They can always make up any story they want to make up, and they will be supported, and they won’t be punished for their crimes. That’s why we need to expose it more and more and more, so it is put so front page, so repeatedly, that people demand the policing of our police.”
It may be daunting for some people to go out of their way to film the police, but ultimately, Vic believes that it will provide accountability to those who do commit wrongdoings, shine light on those who do good, and will allow the people in the nation’s community and the rest of the world to see both sides of the coin.
“It’s just documentation. And documentation can show the positive police helping others just as much. They do exist and they should be celebrated if they are as good as the rest of the nation wants to believe. And for those people who grew up in a different situation, they have to understand, as black people in Chicago — I don’t mean to make about a region or race, really, but just as people from inner cities, especially minorities and people of color, we don’t even want to call the police when we need the police. It’s a crazy thought. If I have a problem at home in which I would call the police — I’ve been robbed and all that — I don’t want to call the police because you see the things that happen. People call the police, and they show up and they might shoot you because they think you’re the robber. That’s a bad feeling, you know?”
He later goes on to say,
“The reason I’m advocating for filming the police is because I just want everyone to recognize that despite the powers that be, and the way that our nation and our states and our cities are set up to the power away from us, the youth have the power. If we stay focused and we do give a fuck, there are ways we can use this power for change. We have the technology to do this and you see what the documentation is doing. It’s the photographs and the videos that really people around the world feeling just how fucked up it is in Ferguson.
If police are going to say things like, “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear,” and that needs to go both ways.”
To close out his interview, Vic had a very heartfelt statement to the people protesting in Ferguson and asks everyone to begin taking action to make a transition in all aspects of life so that we may change for the betterment of our nation’s future.
“Stay strong. You are the real public defenders. Keep your goal in mind and vocalize your goal. They really have a stage right now. Whether or not their actions are being skewed or if their motivations are being skewed and misrepresented, they have a platform and people are listening. Don’t be gassed in vain. Those people are so brave. The things that they are going through right now … there are tanks and tear gas guns and these are the things the police are using on civilians. This is not an army. it’s not a war, it’s a one-sided war. They’re the real law enforcement. They are taking a stand and saying that they are not going to let this one boil over.
For things to change, the change needs to come from all angles. It’s not just a couple weeks on Twitter. It needs to represented in the whole mind state. It needs to represented in music, entertainment, art, in policy everywhere. The people that point the finger and say that you did this to yourself, they need to go read the laws and understand that legislation is set up to systematically destroy minority inner city communities. They take fathers away and create a cycle. It’s so shortsighted to believe that we are creating our own problem. That this oppression hasn’t been warped and perpetualized for over 100 years.
And it is the fear that perpetuates violence and what needs to be understood by both sides is that violence and aggression doesn’t equate to strength. It doesn’t equate to power, it’s just destructive. Power is only in the constructive, so we all need to move past this fear complex.”