Hip Hop big cheese Method Man made an appearance on MSNBC‘s NewsNation today in what was supposed to be a plug for his new Adam Sandler movie The Cobbler. Due to this morning’s shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, however, host Tamron Hall steered the dialogue toward the besieged Missouri city and relationships between minorities and police officers.
The six-and-a-half minute conversation covered a wide range of ideas within that topic, touching on Meth’s personal experience with police brutality (his friend, Ernest Sayon, was asphyxiated to death by a police officer in the 90s), different treatment for black celebrities, and the fact that making money off of poor minorities via policing and the court system is nothing new to black communities. He also mentioned his friendship with Cornel West and MSNBC‘s own Touré.
Method Man displays real insight, though, in the quote below in which he talks about the importance of recognizing everybody’s humanity and the fact that, as sad as it is, today’s shootings are a result of boiling-over frustration with a corrupt, violent, and racist police force in Ferguson. You can watch the full video below.
“It’s all about fear on both sides: We’re afraid of the police–of what they can do, and the power that we think that they wield–if something happens to be me [by] a police officer, will it be covered up? Will there be justice for me? With the cops it’s, ‘We don’t live in these neighborhoods; we just know know what we see on television, or what other officers have told us. And we’re just as frightened as these people.’ But ‘we’ have guns. And when you deal with human nature–human nature, not just ‘This is an officer who’s dealing with things professionally’–he’s still a human being, and when that fear kicks in you never know what can happen. I mean, I just made an analogy the other day about how someone can tap you on your shoulder, scare the mess out of you, and your first reaction is to turn around and you might smack em. Imagine if you have a gun in your hand. It’s the same thing.
Now with this thing that happened in Ferguson just now: Sad. Very sad. I hate to say that FBI report kind of played into this and these things shouldn’t be happening. But you reap what you sow.”