Just a few hours after the a shooting at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza in New York, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton issued a statement claiming he had “a pretty good idea what happened.”
“The crazy world of these so-called rap artists who are basically thugs, that basically celebrate violence they did all their lives, and unfortunately that violence oftentimes manifests itself during their performances and that’s exactly what happened last evening,” said Bratton on “The Len Berman and Todd Schnitt Show” on 710 WOR radio.
Bratton’s claim that rap artists, not bad people, are responsible for violence shows a certain amount of bigotry on his part. He also added the music genre also glorifies drug culture and misogyny.
Predictably, the black community was enraged by the comment, mainly because rap music has its roots in African culture.
#BillBratton What do you call all those involved in corruption in your own police department?— Dennis Byron (@MrDennisByron) May 26, 2016
As opposed to the violence at a Trump rally?https://t.co/gBzsTU53BM— Joe Myers (@joeartdotcom) May 26, 2016
Darryl McDaniels, the legendary rapper, also criticized the police commissioner.
“He should have known better,” McDaniels said. “He should have kept it specific to what happened. All rappers ain’t gangsters. I went to St. John’s University, so I took it personally.”
He also accused the media for stereotyping rappers as gangsters.
“When you turn on Hot97 or MTV,” the hip hop artist said, “you only see the dark, stupid ignorant side of us.”
However, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been more circumspect with linking the popular music to the tragedy and has tried to defend the police commissioner.
“I think the commissioner was talking out of frustration that we’re losing good young people...” he said on a different radio station. “I have a great respect for the commissioner but I have a (different) vantage point on hip hop culture because I see it through the eyes of my kids.”