Lizzo wiped tears from her eyes as she relayed information about what’s happening in Minneapolis from people who are actually in the community, and spoke openly of the racism “in the veins of this country,” on an unannounced Instagram Live session.
After commenting earlier on Sunday (May 31) on George Floyd’s death and those who are out there protesting, the rapper fully unloaded her thoughts and feelings in a stream-of-consciousness manner.
“What they just told me is at this point all the violence, the majority of the violence that’s happening in that city is coming from the KKK and the heavily militarized police,” Lizzo, who has roots in Minneapolis, said to about 10,000 followers watching along around 5 p.m. ET. “There are people coming from the south, there are white supremacist terrorist groups coming from the south, patrolling the streets, shooting people.”
“Follow some people in Minneapolis,” she implored, “‘Cause the real story is not being told fully.”
“It’s never black people, it’s always white people using the term ‘race war’ … We don’t want that shit,” she said, looking away from the camera as her eyes watered. “We want what we’ve always wanted from the beginning of being in this f—ing country, the same right that all these other people have. It’s not this difficult.”
“I’ve been trying to stay composed this entire time. I’m really working on it this entire time. Let me just gather myself,” Lizzo said, pausing.
She then insisted, “It’s not that hard to see. The people that don’t see it don’t want to see it. I don’t have sympathy for people who don’t see it anymore,” and she whispered, “Black people are tired. We are so tired.”
“I’m tired of putting myself in danger,” Lizzo said. “It’s not danger from the protesters, [it’s] danger from the police who don’t value me. Danger of the white supremacist groups who are shooting at people, who are running people over with their cars. How do we not see where the issue is? Why is everyone being so — in the media — political? This isn’t a political issue. The issue is in politics, but it’s not a political issue. It’s so much deeper than politics. It’s in the veins of this country … there is racism running through its veins.”
Lizzo referenced racism in the United States underlying the coronavirus pandemic, the economic decline and people losing their jobs before explaining why she’s putting all her words out there now.
“Nobody seems to care about the way that black women feel,” said said. “I wasn’t in this position a year ago, [with] this profile. This many people didn’t know who I was a year ago. I remember every time these things happened … I would look to these famous people and say, ‘Where are your voices? Why aren’t you speaking up for us?’ I have to realize that responsibility as well. It would irresponsible of me to not reflect the times, irresponsible to not tell the truth.”
Lizzo spoke of the history of white supremacy in the country, and implied it’d be a mistake to believe that the current violence across the nation is the fault of the black community. “You see the videos of people standing on their porch and then shot at,” she said, referring to video footage that surfaced on Sunday of civilians at their own doorway being shot at by police officers.
“I am a pacifist. I am … but it doesn’t matter what side you’re on, whether it is war, peace, revolution, resolution, all of it: can we all just agree that it just comes down to that basic human right of not wanted to be brutalized?” Lizzo asked. “All these people say not all cops are bad cops. I would love to see the good cops.”
Still, Lizzo expressed that she has hope for change.
“This is the most outrage I’ve seen as a country, and that is starting to give me the first semblance of hope I’ve had in a long time. I really do believe in the good of people, and maybe that makes me naive, but I’ve seen Minneapolis rise up and do incredible things,” she said.
“Time and time again we’ve seen this happen with no indictment, with no sentencing, with no punishment. So that doesn’t actually feel like progress,” said Lizzo. (Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes until he died, is being charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.)
“Not only do we want to see appropriate justice, indictments, convictions, we want to see the entire police organization renovated,” she suggested. “We need a whole f—ing investigation. I am just one person, and this is just one person’s thoughts, one person’s point of view … but what we can do when we actually come together for each other is what the future of this country is all about. It definitely ain’t about the past. There’s no ‘make America great’ again.”
Lizzo’s lengthy talk also touched upon the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“If you believe that ‘all lives matter,’ then where is your outrage for black lives?” she pointed out. “To me, ‘all lives matter’ … ‘all lives matter’ is fake equality and full-on anti-blackness.”
“I still love my blackness. I still love your blackness. I still believe that everybody’s life matters. But until we start treating each life equally and respecting each life equally, we gotta say Black Lives Matter,” Lizzo said.
“I hope that everybody can just really see this shit for what it is,” she added. “Open your mind, open your heart, listen, believe … When you see that vandalism, when you see that senseless violence, know that that ain’t us.”
Lizzo ended her Instagram Live with a very important reminder to those who are participating in protests: “Wear a mask, wear some gloves, wear some goggles. We’re still in a pandemic.”