After igniting a firestorm with some comments about police brutality in a recent interview with Bloomberg, RZA took to Twitter to clarify his stance. "I'm not condemning the kids for their garments. We live we should learn and evolve," the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan says. "I could never condone police brutality or any form of injustice and oppression."
At the heart of the outrage were his thoughts about how if young black youth changed the way they dressed, they might not be as susceptible to police scrutiny:
When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look , in the mirror, at the image we portray. If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day—things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them. I tell my sons, I say, if you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie–we live in New York, so a hoodie and all that is all good. But sometimes, you know, button up your shirt. Clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid, you know what I mean? I think that’s another big issue we gotta pay attention to. Is the image that we portray that could invoke a fear into a white officer, or any officer.
The original video is available to watch on Bloomberg here, and RZA's response on Twitter can be read below.
How can a original black man be a coon &sell out? You best look deep into my words &make an assessment. Do you still think pork is healthy?— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016
I don't expect agreement with everything I say. I speak honestly from my own perspective &evaluation from my space time experience.— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016
I could never condone police brutality or any form of injustice and oppression. Knowledge of self means studying self to improve self. Peace— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016
I'm not condemning the kids for their garments. We live we should learn and evolve. When are we men at 21 or 41?— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016
Yea yea mon. Enough Rza badgering for the day. Add a button up shirt to your wardrobe.— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016
"Of course Black lives matter.. All lives matter"— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016