Following the controversial news of Jay-Z‘s (Shawn Carter) partnership with the NFL, a video from a January 2019 panel has emerged in which Jay-Z speaks about the causes for violent interactions between young people and the police.
The panel was part of the launch of REFORM Alliance, a criminal justice reform organization started by Meek Mill ( Robert Rihmeek Williams) and Jay Z, among others.
In the video, Jay pins the problem on children raised by single mothers, who he asserts aren’t able to provide the proper level of authority over their children, causing them to rebel when confronted by the police.
After praising Mill for overcoming setbacks, Jay explained, “You think about the idea of growing up in single-parent house, which I grew up in, which you grew up in. And having an adverse feeling for authority. Right. Your father is gone, so you like, ‘I hate my dad. Don’t nobody tell me what to do. I’m the man of the house.’ Then you hit the street and you run into a police officer. And his first statement, ‘Put your hands up, freeze, shut up!’ And you’re like, excuse my language everyone but, you’re like ‘fuck you.’ And that interaction causes people to lose lives.”
Jay-Z went on to point out friends in the audience as evidence of the power of a two-parent household. He explained, “I have a friend, who’s in the audience, you know, we come from the street. Her husband and her, [Roc Nation COO] Desiree Perez and Juan Perez, their parents come from where I come from, we come the bottom. She’s from the Bronx, he’s from Harlem, and one generation later, their kid is going to Columbia Law. And that goes to show you just how far if you have a family structure in place and your parents are dedicated to your education how far we can take it.”
While studies show there are advantages to being raised in two-parent families, according to Brookings, they’re mainly related to having a larger income and more time-resources delegated to child rearing.
As for police violence, the problem often starts long before any confrontation with the FBI itself reporting infiltration of police forces by members of white nationalist groups.
At the same time, studies show the rate at which Latino men and boys, black women and girls and Native American men, women and children are also killed by police at higher rates than their white peers. According to a study by PNAS, “About 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to die at the hands of police. That makes them 2.5 times more likely than white men and boys to die during an encounter with cops.”
Check out clips of the event plus the full exchange on Facebook below.