Macklemore, White Privileges and a Dying Culture?


It always gives me a sigh of relief when a white person recognizes their white privileges, there! When I encounter people like this, I don’t have to worry about explaining how the system of institutional racism works, I don’t have to worry about going into detail on how reverse-racism is nonexistent, or how prejudice predicaments work in various ways for everyone but worse for those who aren’t favored in society.

But what happens when someone from the majority group misses the mark when addressing these issues? Easy, it crashes and burns and has nowhere to go, but the subject still lingers nevertheless. Recently, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, hip-hop artist, addressed these issues in his new song called White Privilege II.

It was a bold move, calling out people such as Elvis, Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus for taking something from a black-American culture using it for profit and not caring about the racial issues blacks face in the west. Hell, worldwide! Various music enthusiast says Macklemore’s delivery failed because he’s not lyrically talented, therefore, won’t be taken seriously.

Now if someone wants to debate whether he’s a good artist or not go for it, but I have a different notion as to why his approach fell on deaf ears. One, he’s criticizing people who are partaking in the same activity he’s doing as well. Um… hello? Hip-hop is a part of the black culture!

Take jazz music, for instance, it was diminished by the majority when it first hit the scene. Then here comes some little white kid finding the beauty and going around mimicking it, then all of a sudden it’s freaking awesome! Even though it’s been around for years, now it’s fucking cool. Are you kidding me? Macklemore, you can’t call people out of this without making yourself look like a hypocrite.

Also, Macklemore picked easy targets to get his point across without any repercussion. Who were the easy targets? The women, the white women who famously love black culture. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of them for various reasons, but notice how he didn’t call out Eminem, Yelawolf, G-Eazy, MGK, Mack Miller, Slim Jesus…

It’s bad enough having to be a conscious POC and seeing something your community created get exploited and glamorized all at once. Made out to be the villain in society only to be idolized behind closed doors. It is a damn shame! I only leave you with this reader, do you like your tea hot or cold?

To’Wednesday Sibley