“America was founded on a dream of a land where all men were created equal, that contained the promise of liberty and justice for all. But all has never meant Black people,” wrote Williams in his
Time magazine op-ed, entitled, America’s Past and Present Are Racist. We Deserve a Black Future. The Grammy-winner went on to say that he wonders if it is “even possible to convince people that we can overcome our past.”
“But if we are ever to hold this nation accountable, we must force it to construct a future that offers us the same opportunities for wealth, prosperity and success as the ground-floor profiteers who built an empire with our free labor,” said Williams, who has an estimated net worth of $150 million.
“Being raised in the literal womb of America and the origin of this country’s oppression left an indelible impression on me,” Williams said. The “Happy” singer, who was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 White House run, later comparing the protests and riots in the wake of the death of George Floyd to the Boston Tea Party.
“The desperate longing for economic justice that spurred unrest in the streets of Minneapolis after George Floyd’s murder reminds me of the same fire that burned in the veins of the Sons of Liberty when they dumped 342 chests of tea into the sea at Griffin’s Wharf,” Williams said. “When I see people tearing down the monuments to secessionist traitors who wanted to start their own white-supremacist nation, I see patriots acting in service of this country. It reminds me of the protesters who were inspired to tear down the statue of King George on July 9, 1776, after they heard Thomas Jefferson’s letter telling his oppressors to kick rocks.”
“For more than 400 years, the only path to the American Dream was an access-restricted, privately owned road,” affirmed Williams. “Black Americans have never been free to harvest the fruit of America’s bounty, even though we were forced to do the field work.”
On Friday, Williams and partnered with rapper and Black Lives Matter activist and frequent Trump-basher Jay-Z on a collaborative new song, “Entrepreneur,” about the barriers in business black Americans face.
“In this position with no choice, a system imprison young black boys, distract with white noise, the brainwashed become hype boys,” says Williams in one verse. “Third eye dilate, you wasn’t supposed to make it off Section Eight.”
“Black Twitter, what’s that? When Jack gets paid, do you?” adds Jay-Z, referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.