T.I. has released the latest in a series of open letters where he speaks on the state of America. This one is addressed to President-elect Donald Trump.
T.I. started off 2017 much like he ended 2016, going political.
Fresh off releasing two versions of his politically-charged US Or Else album, T.I. is now writing a series of open letters addressing all Americans, especially those in power. Last week he wrote a letter addressed to outgoing President Barack Obama, praising him for the work he did to at least try and unite the country. But, he also challenged America to “do more,” simultaneously expressing disappointment in the election of Donald Trump to be his successor.
Which brings us to his new letter.
Published in Rolling Stone, T.I.’s letter doesn’t take the expected angry tone that his previous messages to Trump have. In March 2016, T.I. flat out told him “f*ck you and f*ck what you stand for.” Later in the year he proclaimed that “Black lives don’t matter” to Trump and even went as far to say that his election could spark a race war.
In this letter, T.I. says he’s “now past bitter and on my way to better,” with a hope that Trump himself can become “better” than the man we’ve seen so far.
Here’s an excerpt:
As I share my thoughts, I want to first say that it’s easy to allow one’s frustration and angst to lead to reckless and harmful rhetoric that can cause irreparable damage. With that said, I want to be responsible, honest and respectful, but in no way apologetic about the rage and resentment that many of US have been suppressing for far too long. In turn, I hope that we can be equally as honest about the prejudice, bias and narrow-mindedness that many of US have felt our nation has been disguising and denying for far too long.
As you transition into your role as the President of the United States, you will undoubtedly be one of the most watched people in the history of the world. So, I can’t help but ask in the midst of our nation’s calamity and discord: What do you want US to see?
Maybe I should take the time to share what many of US would like you to see. Should it ever at times seem as though WE are against YOU, I assure you it’s a result of YOU defining yourself as the representative for those who are and who always have been against US. The deck has always been stacked against US in this country. With every generation there has been strategic steps taken to oppress, imprison and control US. All we’ve ever wanted was equality and empathy as the historically disenfranchised citizens that we are, in a nation that we’ve contributed to just as much as anyone else who calls America their home.
We’ve helped to mold the arts and culture of this country, as well as help build, create and contribute to its greatness, in spite of it all. From an economic perspective, our community’s buying power is THE strongest of all consumers. Yet we’re shown repeatedly that our lives don’t matter as much as our dollars, let alone as that of a person of a different race or skin color. These basic human rights of freedom and equality are ones that EVERY RELIGIOUS BOOK of reference says is a GOD-GIVEN right that should be fought for and defended with one’s life.
We do so much as take a knee during the national anthem and it’s looked upon as Un-American. Yet and still, as many of US continue to live in life-threatening, unspeakable conditions with poisonous water systems, failing schools, broken criminal justice systems, lack of decent healthcare and affordable housing, all while scraping for a basic living wage many of US are still fighting to find our way.
Listen to T.I. read the letter after the jump.