Washington D.C.-based rapper Wale told Revolt TV that he believes the Black Lives Matter movement is misguided, emphasizing that black people should “love ourselves more” before we can expect anyone else to.
“It starts with us. It’s been easy to blame other people for stuff like that and point the finger. But Black lives should matter to black” people, the Grammy Award winning rapper said.
Wale’s comments came on the same day that three Black Lives Matter leaders visited the White House and met with President Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.
“I don’t really care about trying to rally up people for the wrong reasons,” the D.C. native said. “I want us to realize the power that we got within ourselves and to love ourselves more. This should really be the first objective as far as understanding the whole “black lives” thing.
“I don’t think we love ourselves enough as much as we used to,” Wale concluded.
Other black rappers like Kendrick Lamar have similarly dismissed Black Lives Matter. “When we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us?” Lamar said in an interview with Billboard. “It starts from within. Don’t start with just a rally, it don’t start from looting—it starts from within.”
A few months ago, rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs said, “We as a people don’t have any respect for our own Black lives. If #BLACKLIVESMATTER SO AS A PEOPLE LETS PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH!!!”
In July, Wale was invited to the White House to perform at the Reach Higher initiative event for First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2015 Beating the Odds Summit aimed at celebrating college-bound students who overcame poverty and homelessness.
An August Rasmussen poll showed that just 31 percent of black respondents said the term “black lives matter” aligns with their own beliefs.