In an interview with USA TODAY, John Legend opens up about racism and anti-blackness issues in the US. The artist was recently part of the Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America event in Los Angeles.
Q: How do you think the history of race relations in the U.S. has shaped the current racial climate?
A: This nation was founded with slavery as an integral part of the economy and the legal structure and the society, and we've never been able to shake the problem of race and racism since then. And, you know, every time people say we're in a post-racial era, reality comes and kind of shows them that we're not. And a lot of times, I feel like we don't want to deal with the root issues — what centuries of slavery and decades of segregation in housing and schools and decades of unequal treatment by the justice system has done.
Q: You've spoken about how racism is codified on an institutional level, but was there a point where you experienced discrimination on an individual level?
A: (In college) I used to get asked to show my ID to get in my car because they suspected I might be trying to steal my own car. And to me, in the story of my life, that's a minor thing, but for some people that interaction goes wrong and you read about them on the news. And the fact that black men have to deal with that level of suspicion at all times, no matter if they're Ivy League or what — you know I'm an Ivy League student going to school in West Philadelphia and they treat me like a criminal. That level of suspicion that's attached to all of us because of our skin color is a heavy burden to carry all the time. And because of that, there's often a lot of mistrust and there's a lot of resentment that we see boil over sometimes into these uprisings.
You can read the rest of the interview at the source.
omg I think I sent the last one without tags so...fourth time's a charm, mods?