Jay Z is not even the same type of lyricist as the others. He's never rapped, at least not consistently, about revolution, organization, fighting the power. His music is filled with messages of pimping, drug selling, killing Africans, demeaning women, and all the other formats of self destruction prominent within popular capitalist culture. In other words, he always was a sellout so there should be no reason for people to be confused about his latest move. His company will stand to make millions from this partnership and at the end of the day, that's the bottom line for why he is doing any of this. Now, we know that for some of you, that isn't a contradiction in the least because you desire to make millions within capitalism like Jay Z. We should make it clear that we are not attempting to make any effort to transform your thinking. You, like Jay Z, are already sold out. Our only purpose for discussing this is because of the issue of our struggle for liberation that emerges because all of this is the result of Kaepernick's protests against police terrorism. On this question of justice, Jay Z cannot be the answer and we don't say that because Kaepernick still doesn't have a job in the NFL. That's the only morsel Jay Z is correct about. None of this was ever about Kaep getting a job.
What all of this should always be about is the question of justice in the case of so many people being killed by police in state sanctioned murder by agents of the state e.g. police, and how this is a symptom of the role of the state to continue to repress African and other colonized people. The protests in the NFL started simple enough with Kaep and others like Eric Reid sitting and then kneeling when the country's so-called national anthem is played before the start of the games. The real sellout started the moment those who were protesting agreed to kneel instead of completely sitting. The reason they started kneeling is because kneeling was considered more respectful to veterans of the U.S. armed services. And, from that surrender the protesters backed off further by spending so much time defending the protests as simple acts against murder as opposed to any statements against this system and its instruments.
The truth is any protest against police terrorism is actually a protest against institutions of oppression in this society. Its ill refutable that the only reason the police can operate with such immunity in repressing the African masses is because the state supports their ability to do that. And, by state we mean their departments, the courts, the media, the prison system, etc. The entire system. So, clearly, its not possible to protest against police without also protesting against the very system that produces police departments, the criminal U.S. government. And, if we are then going to protest against the U.S. government, then how can we do that without protesting against the symbols of that government e.g. its flag? And, if the military is an instrument who's specific purpose is to violently impose the will of the state, and we know the state is an instrument of oppression against the masses of people on earth, how the hell can anyone truthfully argue that we are not protesting against the flag, the military, the police, and any tool of this system that it uses to exert its will against humanity?
The ignorance, inexperience, and/or cowardice of so many created a situation with these protests where the actual power of the protest was sucked right out of it because once you removed the opposition to the state, which is really opposition to capitalism, all we were left with was a bourgeoisie complaint about individual actions of individual police. And, this liberal capitulation softened the militancy of the protests to the point where the NFL and capitalist America, Jay Z, Nike, etc., could slide in and pretend to be "partners" on the side of the oppressed.
This capitulation is what brought us to the place we are at today. So, the conversation is completely misplaced. Its not whether Jay Z sold out because Kaep doesn't have his job. Its not whether Kaep sold out with Nike. All of that should be a foregone conclusion to anyone paying attention. The real discussion is that we continue to let our movements be highjacked by the very system participating in our oppression because we continue to let them craft the message in ways that are acceptable to the power structure.
Police terrorism is a symptom of the greater problem of a capitalist system that kills African and other colonized people at will because doing so serves its interests of controlling the populations that are most likely to rise up and rebel against this system's hegemony. So, if you are protesting against police, you are protesting against the flag, the military, the legislature, the courts, the media, the street signs, and everything representative of this system. Until we mature enough to understand that and all that it means, we will continue this path of being thrown and whipped around like footballs.