Vic Mensa’s battle against injustices began long before Donald Trump was named the next president last week. The Chicago rapper was shaken, just like the rest of the Hip Hop community, to hear that a symbol of racism and bigotry had been selected to lead the country, but Mensa sees this as a call to action, not a reason to panic. He penned an open letter to his fellow Americans at Billboard to express his thoughts.
“This is not the first time in American history where poor people have been led to believe they’re white and have also been led to believe that their problems are the result of Mexicans, Muslims and black people,” he says of those who chose to vote for Trump. “It’s just a scapegoat technique to keep them confused and keep them from looking at their real enemies, who really propagate their state of disenfranchisement and major corporations like the president-elect. They’re just pawns in a bigger capitalist and imperialist game.”
Coming off his There’s Alot Going On EP, Mensa also shared why he believes the outcome was needed. He said minority communities had perhaps found a false sense of security under the first black commander in chief, President Barack Obama. Then, having the first woman president, Hillary Clinton, or even just another Democrat, was just going to be another band-aid on a bleeding nation’s wounds.
“I had to remind myself that this wasn’t my election to win or lose,” the 23-year-old artist continued. “Then, when I woke up in the morning, I realized that this had to happen because we’ve been pacified by having Barack [Obama] in office. That pacification would have only continued by having Hillary elected.”
He expressed discouragement at the fear his sisters have felt in the aftermath of the election, but reminds them that the threats had been around since before Trump was elected.
Mensa said that now is the time to make practical changes, including talking with Trump supporters to help them understand why they are wrong. He called people to step beyond hate because it’s “fucking tiring. It’s exhausting and it’s so hard to think rationally” and work towards a higher vision.
“We need to unify and decide what it is that we really believe in — that’s what we need to fight for,” he concluded. “We can’t just fight against injustice. We gotta fight for justice.”
Read Vic Mensa’s entire open letter at Billboard.