The family of Emmett Till is calling for the boycott of rapper Lil’ Wayne’s music. The Young Money rapper sparked controversy after disrespecting fallen Civil Rights icon Emmett Till in future’s new song “Karate Chop.”
Lil’ Wayne, who is featured on the track, raps, “Beat that pu**y up like Emmett Till.” Lil’ Wayne can be heard laughing after uttering the line.
The line is highly offensive given the story behind Emmett Till.
Emmett Louis Till was a 14-year-old African American Chicago teen murdered in Mississippi in 1955 after allegedly whistling at a white woman. The teen was in the Mississippi Delta region visiting family members.
The event took place after Till allegedly showed friends a photograph of himself in an integrated school. Till said he had a white girlfriend to the young boys’ disbelief. Till was dared by some local boys to talk a white woman who was running a store.
A few days later after the incident, the woman’s husband Roy Bryant and half brother J.W. Milam arrived at the teen’s great-uncle’s house and took him to a barn, tortured him and gouged out one of his eyes. They shot the Chicago boy in the head, tied a cotton gin fan around his neck with barbwire and threw his body in the Tallahatchie River. His body was recovered three days later.
Till’s mother Mamie Till held an open casket funeral for the world to see the brutal nature of her son’s murder. Bryant and Milam were brought to trial for Till’s death and later acquitted. A few months later, the two boldly admitted to killing the teen in a magazine interview. Bryant and Milam were protected by double jeopardy, which prevents a defendant from being charged with the same crime after being acquitted.
The Mamie Till Mobley Foundation was not amused by Lil’ Wayne’s line. The family blasted Lil’ Wayne for the disrespectful line on their Facebook page.
“I need for everyone to call Clear Channel and request the removal of Lil Wayne’s song “Karate Chop” expressing that the lyrics are misogynistic and promote domestic abuse of women in the name of Black People!” Airickca Gordon-Taylor, founding director of the foundation, wrote. “The lyrics are agregious and dishonor the family of Emmett Till, our ancestors, women and our race! Emmett’s casket might as well have been reopened and Lil Wayne’s indescretion bleeds open the scar of pain our family lives with daily! Please allow our sores of injustice to heal!!
“It is disappointing, dishonorable, and outright disrespectul to our family. The name Emmett Till represents the eruption of a great movement in our hearts as black people and in our country,” Gordon-Taylor wrote. “Out of respect to our family please remove that portion of your lyrics. His mother Mamie Till Mobley is doing cartwheels in her tomb!!!!!!”
Lil’ Wayne’s disrespect of Till’s legacy is disheartening, especially during Black History Month. But this should be used as an opportunity to educate, rather than become angry.
There will be thousands of young adults rapping the lyrics to Wayne’s verse. Hopefully, someone knowledgeable on the story of Till will pull a young person aside and teach them.
Additionally, we hope someone will pull Lil’ Wayne to the side and teach him also.
What are your thoughts on the Lil’ Wayne line? Is it offensive? Sound off below.
The foundation created a petition on the Causes website to ask for the removal of the lyrics from the song.
To sign the petition, please click here.
Listen to ‘Karate Chop’ below
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