T.I has settled nicely into the role of Instagram activist, having already enjoyed a long and storied hip-hop career. We’ve often seen Tip act in a mentorship role, offering his thoughts on race, social justice, and politics, whether you appreciate his take or not. While never one to sugarcoat the matter, Tip has proven to be thoughtful and considerate in equal measure, taking the time to highlight some of those lost through unjust means. Today, T.I. shared a post about Taemon Blair, a 21-year-old truck driver who was found dead in his trailer, with the implication being that he was lynched.
Though Blair’s death was officially ruled a suicide by police, many of his family members have openly sided against the conclusion. “We just want him to get justice. That’s all we want. We just want to find out exactly if somebody did it who did it and why, and we want to open it back up to see,” says Blair’s older brother, Dee Smith. “It’s just a lot of unanswered questions for them to just rule it a suicide and just sweep it under the rug like it was nothing.”
Though the story has gone largely unreported, a few publications have taken to ruling the death as a lynching, citing signs of a struggle and a lack of suicidal motive on Blair’s end. T.I has chosen to present the narrative as such, which speaks to the controversial nature of Blair’s death. Though details surrounding the truth remain scarce – as does coverage on the story – the fact remains that a family remains in mourning. A GoFundMe page has been set up for Blair’s funeral, along with an emotional message from Blair’s sister, Dee Smith.
“Taemon went through a rough patch in his life. He went to jail for a year. When he got out he promised to change his life. He went and got his diploma. He had straight A’s in HS. He has always been on the A honor roll,” she writes. “My brother finally got his life on track! He has a beautiful girlfriend. He also was having a baby. He landed a job driving 18 wheeler trucks. He went on the road to make money for his family. Now graduated with straight A’s, and a really good job, he was on the track of becoming a great man.”
Should you be interested in donating to the funeral costs, you can view the GoFundMe page here. As it stands, the circumstances remain vague enough to merit a closer look, and we can only hope that Blair’s family find the justice and closure they seek. Rest in peace Taemon Blair.