Mysonne’s Reason For Remixing “I’m Not Racist”
By Paul Brandeis Raushenbush
Mysonne’s social media blew up the day the video “I’m Not Racist” by hip-hop artist Joyner Lucas dropped. The video has been seen over 15 million times and features two men, one White, one Black rapping with a common refrain of “I’m not racist.” Lucas wrote and recorded the words that were then performed by a White and Black actor.
Mysonne, who is a rapper and racial justice activist, is a fan of Joyner Lucas who did the video and was impressed by the artistry and the creativity and the attempt to create a conversation. He wrote to his friends – “this dude is a genius.”
But then he started really listening to the words. Whatever the refrain might be, the words from the White guy clearly are racist, articulating a full-throated white supremacist logic that too many Americans believe.
But Mysonne’s problem wasn’t with the White guy.
“I’m in the racial justice space and the main issue I had was that the response from the Black man didn’t speak to the real issues with white supremacy,” Mysonne said over the phone in an interview with Voices. “He didn’t talk about the way we got here, where it came from.”
In fact, in Mysonne’s view, the Black person was actually perpetuating stereotypes and his response wasn’t strong enough to create real dialogue.
“He gave all reasons why the White person has resentment towards the Black person, but not all the reasons why the Black person had resentment towards the White person. Maybe he (Lucas) isn’t able to do it. But I feel qualified to speak on behalf of Blacks in the struggle who understand history and who understand why we are where we are in this country.”
The video ends with the two men appearing to have a change of heart and they give each other a hug, which bothered Mysonne as well.
“There is no basis for the hug at the end. One man was bashing, the other was defending. Where was the dialogue that would lead to them being friends? I talk to people all the time. And they say the kind of thing that the White person said, but there needs to be dialogue — more conversation and response. Acknowledgement from the White person, understanding of what was going on. I wanted to give a point of view that represented me.”
And that is the reason that Mysonne created his own video, “I’m Not Racist – Remix.” The video shows Mysonne visibly frustrated watching the video, after which he launches into a sharp, biting response that is pointed and brilliant and gives the defense that Mysonne believes is called for. It starts with:
“I hear you talking but you omitting the factors, And I don’t want your pity you mother—king cracker / I’m not a racist, my hatred has bases / My ancestors were brought here by killers and rapists / Your forefathers were all robbers / Forced us to your culture and customs and destroyed ours / Then you murdered and enslaved us / Days in the field, you mother—kers never paid us for four hundred years.”
And it goes on from there. But Mysonne doesn’t have disdain for Joyner Lucas and is glad for how this has played out. “I didn’t want to dismiss the art, the courageous conversation. He gave us a platform, opportunity to create a conversation and I’m using my artistry to continue it.”
Finally, when asked about the role of spirituality or religion in how white supremacy and racism can be confronted, Mysonne, who says he is more spiritual than religious, used the example of the exchange between the White man and Black man in the video.
“Spirituality would had made it more real, not insulting, not demeaning, but, to have a real conversation. It’s not about how to humiliate but to come at one another from a point of from honesty, I don’t understand this? Try to be sensitive and aware of other people’s feeling – that opens dialogue.”