WORDS: LORI PETTY
PHOTOS: DANIEL REGAN
"Sorry to interrupt y'all lobster brunch." — Actor O’Shea Jackson, playing his father, Ice Cube, from Straight Outta Compton
In 1989 Ice Cube was a black teenage rap star, sick of doing all of the work and getting none of the money. In 2017 you ain’t gotta change a word.
But I thought we had worked so damn hard this time. We elected our learned, eloquent black president. Stunning as hell. We accomplished so much as a whole group of people. Messy America passed inclusive laws protecting marriage equality, voting rights, women’s rights to their own bodies. Healthcare was even making progress. I thought Obama’s back-to-back wins, despite a hateful Congress, meant something had changed the selfish, fearful hearts of many white people. Yeah, I thought. Silly-ass me. Everything probably alright. I must be trippin. In the same scene O’Shea’s Ice Cube tries to calm himself – he knows better, but it can’t really be real. He can’t be getting fucked over by his friend and manager. His whole reality is the tour and the bus. Sorry but you trippin, Felicia. They got you standing cold and naked in the hallway.
You think we would’ve ever left thousands of white Americans to starve and drown on their roofs in New Orleans? Bush was scared to even get out the airplane. Not his people. You think we’d let black cops shoot white people in the back, killing them over and over and over and over and over? How about murdering that twelve-year-old black child playing alone in the park, Tamir Rice? Not guilty. Not guilty. Not guilty. Not guilty. How about Walter Scott? Got kids. Pulled over for a broken tail light, unarmed. Shot dead in the back by a white cop we refused to convict. All on tape. And a hundred more.... But let’s get that ugly white boy terrorist who shot up a black Bible meeting in a church a goddamn Whopper on the way to the police station – after he pumped over sixty bullets into eleven black people, killing nine. Kid was hungry. Takes it outta ya, killing old people praying in a church.
So, we never got better. We got freakishly worse. This year can’t even be real life. A crude, racist, sexist, hateful, dumb-as-a-box-of-hammers white man just got made president. 2016. Filling his Cabinet with billionaire science deniers, public education haters, gay-bashers, healthcare and social program killers. Oh, and the orange pussy-grabbing clown thanked “the blacks” who didn’t show up to vote. The majority of that bratty reality star’s supporters are going to suffer terribly under his regime. But hey, they got themselves a white guy. Aw, shit. Here we go again. How low can we go? Beyond my imagination. Before it was canceled, A&E was producing a reality show about KKK families, big article in The New York Times like it’s the new normal or some shit. Yo, Dre. I got something to say.