Brother Ali Likens Trayvon Martin Case To Emmett Till Murder

Brother Ali also says, "racism is an institution" and that "racism is a serial killer."

Brother Ali recently shared his thoughts on racism when asked to shed light on the Trayvon Martin case. He also spoke about racism as an institution and the way that racism impacts quality of life.

"What we have is a 500-year-old legacy of African Americans being killed, particularly young men," Brother Ali told HardknockTV. "It's all people of color and it includes women too but there's a specific thing about young Black men being murdered by people who say that they're protecting us. They find a way to blame the victim."

Ali then established how the Martin case is similar to Emmett Till's murder in his eyes. 

"They said Emmett Till whistled at a White woman. They say all of these things [like], 'He did something he wasn't supposed to be doing.' And then they always find a way to let the killers go free under some weird little loophole in the law. This case is part of that. This case is part of that legacy. Racism is a killer. Racism is a serial killer." 

Ali, who released Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color last year, also spoke about how the "institution of slavery" has various other effects. 

"Racism itself is an institution in our society," he added. "Racism also exists in all of the institutions. We're taught to think about racism in terms of one individual to another individual. You know? 'Do I hate people who aren't White? Do I say racial slurs and things like that?' And if I can answer no to both of those questions, then I'm completely off the hook and everything is all good.' And we say, 'Well, there are racist people out there.' We talk like there are certain individuals who are racists and as long as you stay away from those individuals, you'll be fine. But the reality is that, not only is racism itself an institutional part of our society, but every important part of our society, we see racism, which is more than just bigotry, more than just prejudice, more than just people being rude to each other or hurting each other's feelings. We're talking about our structural barriers that hold extra challenges to people who are not White. If you look at the statistics, there seems to be a hierarchy. In a highly competitive society, those things benefit the people who aren't held back by them. So in every major aspect of American life, in health care, employment, education, wealth and home ownership and in every way that we can gauge quality of life, we see that people of color have greater challenges and are not experiencing the quality of life that White people are."

More on Brother Ali's thoughts can be found below.

Emmett Till was murdered in 1955. He was 14 years of age. Till was killed after allegedly flirting with a White woman. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain who deemed him suspicious. Zimmerman told authorities he fired his weapon in self-defense. Martin was unarmed. Other emcees have also commented on the case including Game and Mos Def

RELATED: Murder Of A Teenage Life: Hip Hop's Take On The Slaying of Trayvon Martin


  • Kramer

    I liked him for a little bit, but cant stand his shit any more. Liberal idiot is so annoying with his politics in his music and interviews. Just shut up

  • yty

    Sounds like Brother Ali is just trying to get brownie points with black hip hop fans...

  • Anonymous

    fuck thisblack people lover

  • William J Urmson

    This music video tells why Trayvon Martin is dead~ YouTube - Videos from this email

  • Hiroko S. Hill

    as Gloria replied I didnt even know that a student able to make ($)5882 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this web page... can99.c.o.m.

  • Philip

    The other part of this is people are like that white guy shot Treyvan... Zimmerman is spanish and white (half and half). I bet Treyvan had quite a bit of white in him as well... get off the color folks... If you aren't going to get off the color then do your homework, dude is spanish.

  • Philip

    Treyvon Martin's death is insignificant compared to the tens of thousands of deaths from black on black hate crimes (gangs against gangs). Black people are just as racist as Treyvon's Martin's Killer, against each other more than anyone else. When all people of any color stop this segregationist thought process we will start to have progress.

  • Anonymous

    "Also, I am mulatto and I live in section 8 housing" Yet I see you have a computer. How's the weather out there in Santa Monica?

  • Anonymous

    That is a bad comparison, Trayvon Martin and Emmett Tills murders were completely different. Trayvon was killed by a hispanic man after the two of them engaged in an altercation. Till was murdered by two white men after being kidnapped and tortured for flirting with a white women. Brother Ali is really stretching to make a comparison here. He's just trying to monologue in this interview to appear intelligent but I think he really just likes the sound of his own voice.

  • Anonymous

    is this guy blind? his wikipedia says so. but during the interview it seems he isnt blind. whats up with this albino nigga

    • tre

      hes "legally" blind, its different from being completely blind, basically his vision is shit.

    • Anonymous

      he just has the same problem with vision all albinos have. they can see just not as good and its especially difficult for them to see in bright lights.

  • Alan Srout

    George Zimmermans Black Ancestry is Revealed George Zimmerman: the black, Hispanic, Peruvian, kind-hearted non-white, not-racist poster boy George Zimmerman Has Black Roots

  • Assassin221

    Here's the thing about all that, inequality does not equal racism. There's no question that slavery and racism of the past have directly led to present-day inequality of housing, education, health care, etc, but that doesn't mean the system today is trying to keep the black man down, just that a lot of white people got a huge, huge head start. What about poor white people? There's more white people on food stamps and welfare in this country than black folks. Are they victims of racism, too? Or are they just a bunch of fuck ups? Or were they exploited by rich white guys who owned plantations and coal mines and factories, just like black people were? My point being that society is way unequal and fucked up, but it's not all about racism. That's just an easy scapegoat, but it doesn't really add up, it distracts us from all the other shit going on, and it works to divide people up by color when they shouldn't be.

    • Anonymous

      It's like Jaime Foxx said it ain't racism it's placism Racism has been used as a diversionary tactic to keep us against each other and not focused on who our real enemies are: bankers, politicians, etc.

    • Assassin221

      @Jesse, so exactly which white people are trying to "hold the black man down," and how exactly are they doing it? I would agree that there are policies that perpetuate inequality in our society, but most of them have nothing to do with race. Also, I don't get your point about the section 8 white people in your neighborhood. Are you saying because they do or did drugs, their poverty is their fault, while for black people on section 8 it's all the racism? If so I wouldn't count on the statistics to back you up on that. @Anon, which modern-day unjust laws are you referring to that had blacks in mind? If you can cite evidence, a link, whatever that shows a)a lot of oppressive policies were made specifically to target black people, and b)those policies are the primary reason for racial inequality today, I'll pay attention. People like Brother Ali usually just frame it as inequality proves racism, which is an incomplete equation. As far as whites suffering inequality, I'm not saying it's because they're white. I just know as a social worker, I've dealt with a lot of poor white folks whose skin color didn't seem to be helping them any.

    • Anonymous

      How do whites suffer any inequality? The dominant white society enjoys inequality but their ratchet equivalents(TWT)fall through the cracks and deal with the some of the same injustices blacks deal with, but any oppressive law created was done with blacks in mind it's just that some white people get caught in that crossfire. Other countries know how bad blacks get treated here and understand that this president is just a diversion to get the heat of us by creating an illusion of equality to them, and be able to continue being hypocrites dealing with other countries injustices and not our own.

    • Jesse

      Wrong, you're making it more difficult than what it is. What Brother Ali was talking about, the case, does seem to be about race. Furthermore, a lot of the white people, that do make the system, are trying to hold "the black man down," race plays a huge factor in many things today whether it should or not and all sides, races, are guilty. Also, I am mulatto and I live in section 8 housing and I would say the majority of white people that live here do, or did, drugs including tobacco and alcohol at some point in there life but because there are very few black families that live here I can't say the same.

    • Assassin221

      Yeah I'm a white person. Do you have anything else to add or is that it? See that's my point, people want to break everything down in terms of race not because it's truth, but because it's easy.

    • Anonymous


    • Jesse

      You know, people get all up in arms when race is brought in to things but honestly, I feel race is always a factor. I don't want anybody to take any type of offense to this but I do believe that you are a white person who typed this. If anyone has anything they would like to say or discuss about what I've said, please feel free to contact me at because I do want to hear other peoples opinions.

    • Assassin221

      All that's true and I'm not disputing it. But it's still a hell of a lot of white people suffering a lot of the same inequalities as black folks. If it were all about racism, that wouldn't be the case. So as I see it racism isn't the only reason for economic inequality in the US, or even the most important one. That's just where dudes like Brother Ali like to point the finger because it makes an easy scapegoat while allowing him to position himself as one of the "good guys."

    • Anonymous

      There may be more whites than blacks on welfare but it's not the majority of whites. On the other hand the majority of blacks are on welfare and that's only 12% of the population so the inequality is in the density. By default there's more whites on welfare but their middle and upper class is bigger still.

  • Anonymous

    This case is nothing like the Emmitt Till case and it's not a smart idea to plan a riot during a time when white people are arming themselves to the teeth.

    • anonymous

      That shouldn't be a reason to not riot since the arsenal on both sides (civilians that is) it's pretty even, some guns just aren't registered, but it would be hypocritical to riot about Zimmerman when nobody is stepping to gangbangers getting away with murder of more Black kids than any GZ ever will commit out there. Yet you give Paula Deen a pass, if the anger was consistent by all means go riot, but it would look stupid.

  • asher1985

    This fucking wigger, shut the fuck up and be proud of who YOU are. I like this guy as a rapper, but as a person, suck my dick ali. you're racist against your own kind, and that's the worst most pathetic kind of racism there is

    • Anonymous


    • Jesse

      What you said just pissed me off. I am both black and white so I do believe that I have gotten to see the best, and worst, of both sides. The fact that you're saying he's racist against whites is ridiculous and ignorant. Just because he has his own opinion doesnt make him racist. The fact that you said that was racist and you should be ashamed of yourself. Feel free to contact me at,

    • Anonymous

      Racist against whites? No such thing ever, mistrust maybe some disgust but not racism.

  • thetruthhurts

    what he is saying is actually very true if you go out, get an education, take a few classes and learn something. this is why we need to spend more money on education. all these ignorant ass fools on the internet are proof that americans are fucking stupid, and dont know shit. brother ali is telling the truth backed up by decades of research.

    • Assassin221

      As someone who has an education, let me tell you to take college classes with more than a few grains of salt. They only tell you half the story like Bob Marley said. People think if a college professor said it it must be Bible. Professors can be just as stupid as anyone living on your block.

  • Anonymous

    justice for zimmerman!!!!

  • KKK Spokesman

    Just give up already the prosecution totally hacked that case up and Zimmerman will be a free man this summer. He isn't even one of me so you dumb blacks need to stop blaming others for your shortcomings. Can't wait to see all the rioting on the news this summer.

  • rbgwarrior

    cosign that!! Heed the words of the Brother!!r

  • Yeezus was wack

    Zimmerman never getting convicted the prosecution has such a shit case they only took it to trial cause of pressure they have no evidence at all. The riots will be wild to watch

  • Lawless_1

    "Damn. Nothing rhymes with Trayvon Martin." - Lil' Wayne

  • Anonymous

    this guy wants to be black so badly. fuck this cornb all

    • Jesse

      Why are people so racist? Just because you're white and may have an opinion doesnt mean that you want to be black or are a wigga/wigger. That is called racism right there.

    • @mixed by mixed too

      Do you really believe you're accepted by whites? Your white half is ostracized already. Just strive to be a better person fuck choosing sides because being mixed either side can turn on you.

    • mixed

      im mixed id rather be white than black all my white friends are chill when ever i chill with some of these dumb niggas i feel like my brain is rotting

    • f

      LOL. I don't think anyone wants to be black.

    • Anonymous

      @ anon 1 shut the fuck up you dumb peasant cunt

    • Anonymous

      He's black at heart. lol

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