If you’re racist, bigoted, or generally hateful person, Talib Kweli may very well come for you. The iconic Black Star rapper has frequently taken to Twitter to battle all the above, developing a reputation as one the game’s most no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is Twitter users. In fact, the rapper seems well suited to the political side things. He recently made headlines after canceling an appearance at the Riot Room in Kansas City, after the venue booked a Norweigian metal band called Taake, who harbor alleged Nazi sympathies. Today, Kweli has come through with an eloquent and powerful editorial on White Supremacy, in which he takes aim at the “Alt Right” and those who use “free speech” as a misguided defense.
The essay, titled “Free Speech or Die?: The paradox self-victimization by the alt-right,” is certainly an engaging read for the politically inclined. Kweli highlights prominent figures in the Alt Right movement, including Richard Spencer and Jeremy Christian, breaking down some the more horrific acts they’ve committed in the name so-called patriotism. Kweli points out that the noble principle “free speech” has come to be bastardized by those seeking to bend it to their agenda. “The recent debates, rallies, and fights surrounding free speech show us that while we all seem to agree that free speech is a great thing, we can also violently disagree about how and when free speech is being threatened, and why,” writes Kweli.
He examines the way white supremacists like Spencer and Christian engage in selective use free speech. “The problem is that many on the far right, the side adjacent to white nationalist and Nazi types like Christian, use the principle free speech as an excuse to say whatever they want without consequence. Like Christian, they think free speech applies only to what they want to say and hear,” write the Radio Silence rapper.
For more from Kweli, be sure to check out the full essay right here.