Rapper Lil Wayne kicked off a firestorm with his comments about racism during an appearance on Fox Sports One’s Undisputedon Tuesday.
When host Skip Bayless asked the emcee what it’s like to perform in front of a predominantly White crowd, Wayne responded, “I don’t want to be bashed … but I thought that it was clear that there was no such thing as racism.”
After airing Wayne’s remarks, Roland Martin was baffled. “I’m scratching my head here,” he said and reminded the rapper of an incident two years ago in which he accused the Oklahoma City Thunder organization of racism because he was denied entry into a playoff game.
Martin continued, “Clearly, homie is not understanding of history.”
The host of NewsOneNow detailed several instances during which some of our best and brightest stars have experienced racism over the course of the last 100 years.
Martin recalled an excerpt from Harry Belafonte’s memoir that detailed an incident in Chicago where the actor was denied access to the front door of a venue he was headlining. According to Martin, Mr. Belafonte said, “If I don’t walk through the front door, then I’m not singing tonight.”
Martin also reminded Wayne of how Cab Calloway stared out at a sea of White faces while performing at the Cotton Club because African-Americans were not allowed in despite the venue’s Harlem location.
“What the hell is Lil Wayne talking about?” asked Martin.
Dr. Wilmer Leon, Political Strategist and host of Inside The Issues, called him a “buffoon” and said, “This is a great insight into a big problem with our movement – it has not started to focus on the success of the individual and has moved away from what it has always been, which is the success of the collective.”
Angela Rye, Principal and CEO of Impact Strategies, said that even though Whites are paying for the music and attending concerts, “that doesn’t mean that racism doesn’t exist.”
“I am really disenchanted by this because I can’t understand why he hasn’t paid any attention to the value of Black Lives and the fact that there is this huge movement…It’s so important and I don’t know why he has this opinion or the lack thereof.”