People around the globe were shocked and outraged after a group of pro-Trump rioters attempted an insurrection by breaching the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., seizing the building in a fit of violence, destruction and anger in an effort to stop Congress from certifying the election of Joe Biden as president.
The Jan. 6 crisis has provoked much discussion concerning the ease with which the rioters occupied the building and vandalized the Senate and House chambers and lawmakers’ offices. More than a few individuals in news and social media have observed that the law enforcement response was noticeably weak when compared against police responses to many of the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.
T.I. certainly had extensive observations about this week’s events, and as usual was not shy about voicing them, posting a seven-minute Instagram video on Thursday in which he gave his perspective on the first siege of the U.S. Capitol since the War of 1812.
Can y’all believe the s–t we saw yesterday?” he began. “That s–t don’t surprise any of us. So this is the thing. We got to understand, we don’t have the same immunity. We can’t be out there fighting the same fight as white folks, ’cause we gon’ end up being the only m———–s get shot down, killed, or end up in prison,” he continued, seemingly cautioning African-Americans than their attempts at physical challenges to government power would be met with far harsher responses than Wednesday’s overwhelmingly white, far-right insurrectionists saw.
“We can’t get out there and fight this until we get the same kind of immunity. Till we get the same kind of immunity, the same kind of consideration, the same kind of acknowledgement, we can’t put ourselves out there, ’cause we the ones finna get killed. Let the whites fight. Our allies get out there and do y’all thing and we can find a way behind the scenes to be helpful,” he continued.
T.I. mentioned a conversation he’d had with “The Breakfast Club” host Charlamagne Tha God this week where he said the two drew the conclusion the entire situation was an “inside job.”
“So, I talked to my partner Charlamagne earlier, and we pretty much came to the conclusion was, man, us coming from the ’hood, man,” he began. “Most of y’all on here, man, probably from the ’hood too. But we know what an inside job on the home invasion look. We know somebody in the house, they left the back door open so we’d come in and get in. I mean, we know what that looked like.”
He also alluded to the two Georgia Senate races that Democrats won in runoff elections this week, giving the party the majority in the Senate. T.I. then touched on how he’s expecting the Democrats to work on how they can make things better for the community.
“We did our thing man, we did our thing,” he said. “We flipped the White House. We flipped Georgia. Flipped the Senate. So now so now y’all back up, man. Y’all go. Do y’all thing. Y’all, let us know. First of all, let us know how we’re going to benefit from the work that we’ve already put in. Let us know how we gon’ benefit from the work we done already. I’m saying push the envelope or whatever you got to push and come back to us, man, when it’s time to strategize.”
Returning to Wednesday’s attempted putsch, “I don’t know where the military was. I don’t understand. But don’t get caught out in the middle of them white folk business. Somebody getting money. The market was at an all-time high all of a sudden. It broke records every day. The market was up, even though the m———–g Capitol was getting raided. So, fall back and find a way to benefit our community. We don’t need to get in the mix.”
T.I. ended his speech with a warning to America that he called a little “dope boy logic,” cautioning to be prepared for what could come.
“You got tried yesterday, America. M———–s damn near came in your house, slapped your mama, and told your grandmama come out here and get some too. Therefore, if you don’t respond, you gon’ get tried again. Cause it’s sweet. They did s–t with no consequence. Hey man, if a m———-r try you and you don’t do nothing, you gon’ get tried again. If all it takes is some unarmed White people to get in there, you’re sweet.”
T.I. wasn’t the only celebrity trying to make sense of the mayhem at the Capitol. Cardi B, Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, and many others all had distinct opinions about the riots, particularly concerning how the white rioters were handled compared to the aggressive treatment of Black people by police.
The always outspoken LeBron James had similar sentiments after watching news of the riots on Wednesday.
“We live in two Americas,” James told ESPN on Thursday. “And that was a prime example of that yesterday, and if you don’t understand that or don’t see that after seeing what you saw yesterday, then you really need to take a step back — not even just one step, but maybe four or five, or even 10 steps backwards and ask yourself how do you want your kids, or how do you want your grandkids, or how do we want America to be viewed as? Do we want to live in this beautiful country?”
James said he saw a definite disparity between the treatment of white and Black people by law enforcement and insists that a group of Black rioters would not have made it so far.
“If those were my kind storming the Capitol, what would have been the outcome? And I think we all know,” James said. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts, we already know what would’ve happened to my kind if anyone would have even got close to the Capitol, let alone storm inside the offices, inside the hallways.”
He directly blamed President Trump for inciting his supporters and riling them up into dangerous fury that led to the deaths of five people.
“The events that took place yesterday was a direct correlation of the president that’s in the seat right now, of his actions, his beliefs, his wishes,” James said. “He cares about nobody besides himself. Nobody. Absolutely nobody. He doesn’t care about this country. He doesn’t care about his family. He doesn’t care about anybody besides himself.”
“Four years ago, I sat there and said this is the beginning of the end for our country. And hopefully it only lasts four years,” James continued. “But the one thing you can’t get back in life, one thing you can never get back, and that’s time. Can’t get back time. We’ve literally just s—ted away four years. How do we recoup that?”
Even so, James said he has hope that President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be able to heal the country. And James’ teammate Anthony Davis asserted that that hope is vital in maintaining solidarity in the face of those who want to sow discord.
“We just can’t give up hope. No matter what goes on. As a brotherhood in the league and as an African-American myself, we can’t allow ourselves to lose hope just because of we’re not seeing change,” Davis said. “That’s what people want. They want us to lose hope, lose faith and let us fade away. Let the idea of change fade away. And us do nothing. … We got to continue to be unified and stay in solidarity to make sure that we stay strong through all of this.”