Xolani Shakur

On being black in America:

My mom always told me you are in America you are born with two strikes against you already. White people don’t know what it’s like to say you’re already born as a target. You already have to make sure you work harder than the next man just to not be seen as lazy. If I was an 18 year old kid, loudmouth, kinda a hot head, a product of my environment, I would be a trouble maker. I never got in trouble with the law but okay if something happens to me would you look at me as a human or look at me as this black person that has a different set of rules to live by. And I think that a lot of times, we are all conditioned. Black people, white people are conditioned to think “that’s a black kid they must have done something to warrant their death” and that’s some inhumane stuff to say about anybody.

On violent action: 

This is an unrest. An uprising. It’s not always going to be pretty, peaceful, or convenient. For example a lot of people focused on the few violent protestors in Baltimore and a lot of people said that’s not how it gets done. And when the officers got indicted…I mean maybe there’s a place in it all. Quite interesting the country tells a bunch of people, “hey be peaceful show them love,” showing people this who haven’t received peace or love. If anything the people on the streets haven’t done any level of violence that matches what the police have done and usually do in response to the police. By the time you’re bringing tanks on us what do you tell this 17,18,19 year old kid. You’re gonna tell him to be peaceful when he hasn’t seen peace in his life? He hasn’t seen that from the police at all. I’m all for it.

For one, the people have these rights that are presented to us and are exercising their rights. So when people are protesting they are saying this is a spotlight of what is going on here. So maybe we’ve got to make some noise. We need some civil disobedience.

Ferguson is…the center of revolution right now. It’s one of those things that a revolutionary minded person like me who has been saying for years “hey a revolution is gonna come soon, it’s gonna come and you better be ready,” and that’s what happened. I would have never of thought it would be in Ferguson on all places but that’s what it is. Worldwide revolution. This is what people all around the world are looking at as the example of revolution.


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