open letters

Nas Penned an Open Instagram Letter to America About Its Racial Inequality

Nas. Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty Images

On the heels of the Charleston slayings, Nas took to Instagram on Tuesday to write an open letter to America. The rapper pleads in a galvanizing call to action for his countrymen to move forward, not backward, noting that a war pitting Americans against Americans is raging in cities across the nation. “We are supposed to stand for freedom & equal opportunity,” he wrote. “This is BIGGER than BLACK and WHITE. This is about America selling a false dream.” He adds that he doesn’t understand how black citizens can be viewed as so crucial to American culture, but aren’t afforded a sense of belonging or protection. With hopes of starting a constructive conversation about the matter, Nas concludes: “This is my home just like it is anyone else’s.”

Read the whole missive — which came shortly after Nas’s industry comrade-in-arms Lupe Fiasco posted a similarly executed, equality-centric address on his own account — below:

America has spent so much time, money & resources fighting wars abroad and completely fell asleep at the wheel of the war brewing within our cities, neighborhoods & blocks. We are supposed to stand for freedom & equal opportunity. That’s supposed to mean MORE than just words but the actions of late just don’t speak to what we are supposed to stand for. This is BIGGER than BLACK and WHITE. This is about America selling a false dream. Now we’ve obviously progressed since the inception of this nation but we took our eye off the ball and it feels as though things are moving backwards. As a black man, I find it difficult to understand that our biggest export (our American culture) comes from us. The people in the streets… The way the world dresses, talks, what they listen to, what they watch… That all comes from us. How can we be the ones responsible for America’s biggest export & fear for our lives like we shouldn’t belong here. I don’t have all the answers nor do I believe anyone does, but we need to have conversations around how to improve as a nation. How do we show any ounce of progress that keeps hope alive. This is too big of a problem to be solved overnight but there needs to be some questions answered to get things back on the track of righteousness. Amazing people died for this country. We owe it to the past, present & future to come together and move this country in the right direction. This is my home just like it is anyone else’s. RIP CRISPUS ATTUCKS. FIRST MAN TO DIE IN AMERICA’s FREEDOM WAR & HE WAS BLACK! GOD BLESS EVERY OUNCE OF INNOCENT BLOOD SHED FOR THIS NATION & MY FAMILY.

Nas Penned a Letter to America About Inequality