"They hit him with the fentanyl," the rapper gestured. "If you look, the guy's knee wasn't even on his neck like that." But Kanye West's wild commentary about George Floyd isn't flying without consequences - Floyd's family issued a cease-and-desist letter, and Roxie Washington, mother of Floyd’s daughter, filed a $250 million lawsuit.
And his words hurt than you might think.
Black neuropsychopharmacologist Carl Hart also noted in 2021 that, from Michael Brown to Philando Castile, the white supremacist tactic of villainizing victims with potential drug use is deeply rooted in history.
"Drugs did not contribute to any of these individuals' deaths," he wrote. "But officers' depraved indifference for Black life certainly did."
Cops also frequently omit details, blatantly lie, and misrepresent events in initial police statements. The media then parrots their deception. For example: Floyd's news alert didn't even mention an officer kneeling on his neck.
We may not fall prey to ridiculous comments like Kanye's, but we're all susceptible to the little stuff, like following non-reputable sources or being uncritical about crime data.
Let's take this opportunity to work against copaganda and respect each other's lives - even when the media, celebrities, and cops won't.