Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, 24, who performed at Saturday’s massive March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, proclaimed his hatred of police and support for convicted cop killer Assata Shakur at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards with an outfit that likened police to the KKK and called for freedom for Shakur who escaped prison over thirty years ago and lives in Cuba under the protection of the Castro regime.
— J/-)¥|)O[_]|3|_ BUZZ (@JayDoubL) August 31, 2015
Front: Free Assata. Back: KKKops Are the Biggest Gang. Destroy. Revolution.
The woman whose face is printed across the blazer and shirt under “Free Assata” is Assata Shakur. “She’s still the FBI’s Most Wanted Woman in 2014 after being locked up as a political prisoner in 1977,” Vic explained to MTV News. “That’s ridiculous to me.” Assata is an African-American activist and member of the former Black Panther Party who was the subject of a multistate manhunt and was convicted of first-degree murder in the ’70s. She’s also the first woman to be listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List. (You can read more about Assata here.)
The designs, which Vic describes generally as “anti-police,” continue to the back of the outfit with statements like “KKKOPS ARE THE BIGGEST GANG.”…
Shakur, aka Joanne Chesimard, was a member of the Black Liberation Army, an armed group that robbed banks and killed police officers during the 1970s. Shakur was convicted of the 1973 murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a shootout with him and another trooper and several BLA members. (Shakur was also briefly a a member of the Black Panther Party.)
The BLA broke Shakur out of prison in an armed escape. Shakur eventually turned up in Cuba in 1984 where the Castro regime gave her political asylum. When President Barack Obama reached an agreement with Cuba to normalize relations, he returned several Cuban spies, but Obama did not insist on the return of Shakur by Cuba, where she still lives under communist protection.
Mensa’s performance at the March for Our Lives featured his song, We Could Be Free’.
Twitter version posted by Mensa:
Mensa added a message, “Ban the AR-15”.
After the rally, Mensa spoke to CNN about how the Black Panthers inspired him as a youth.
Mensa’s mother is a white American, his father is from Ghana. Mensa spoke to NPR about his background and how it affected his sense of self and relations with police.
My mother was from upstate New York; she’s of Irish and German descent. My father was from Ghana. I live in this two-parent household that is supportive and educated, and outside there’s kids selling crack, and homicides. So as I start to get older, and I’m kinda being hit back and forth like a ping-pong ball, because on one hand, America views me as this general blanket term: black. But at home, I’m me, and I’m half-African, I’m Irish, I’m German, I’m all of these things. But the police don’t know it. And teachers in schools are treating me differently. And I’m put in individualized education programs, IEPs, just because I got this brand on me. I got the “black” brand.
In the song you say that at age 12 you learned the difference between white and black. What happened when you were 12?
Well, that’s around the time I feel America removes [the label] “child” from black youth. So around age 12 when I’m riding my bike, the police pull me over and start harassing me and questioning me about running from them the day before, which didn’t happen. And when I told them that, they were like, “Well, do you have a twin brother?” And I’m pushed off the bike, slammed to the ground and I realize, “Oh, OK. I’m black.”
Yeah, that is not something that happened to me when I was 12 years old.
Before that point I didn’t feel so racial. I didn’t feel that way. And a question I was asking myself was, the aggression: Where’s the aggression coming from? And when I really started to do the work in writing the album, in therapy, and I’m dissecting being told by police — if I had my hands in my hoodie — “Take your hands out your f****** hoodie before I punch you in the f****** face!” You know? There was a certain aggression that came to me, just from being pushed around and being labeled and marginalized. And I took it out on other people.”