Actor and rapper Nick Cannon led a Black Lives Matter protest outside of the Republican National Convention Monday, promising not to vote and declaring that black people don’t feel safe because cops are “policing our communities.”
“We are going to be out here for the entire convention and make sure our voices are heard,” Cannon said, flanked by several protesters holding signs reading, “I ain’t voting until #BlackLivesMatter.”
“We want to be respected,” the America’s Got Talent host told the crowd, according to the Daily Mail. “We want to feel safe. We want the American Dream. You are messing with our peace of mind. We can’t operate as Americans when we can’t walk outside and feel safe.”
Echoing the same sentiment, Cannon told Howard Stern on Monday that “there’s a segment of the community that don’t care about voting because they’re too concerned with staying alive.”
“Both [parties] aren’t speaking about our issues and they have been taking our votes for granted for far too long,” he said.
Cannon has publicly supported withdrawing from the political process for months. In March, he released a video featuring his slam poetry, entitled, “Too Broke to Vote.”
“Nobody for president, that’s my campaign slogan,” Cannon rhymes in the three-minute music video.
The 35-year-old actor-turned Black Lives Matter activist flooded his Twitter and Instagram accounts with photos of the rally and videos of spoken word on Monday outside the Quicken Loans Arena.
In a video posted to YouTube on Monday by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Cannon says police don’t have “authority” over his community and explains the difference between law enforcement “policing” black communities versus “protecting” them.
“They’re policing our communities. We don’t need to be policed, ” Cannon said. “It’s that mentality that ‘Oh, it’s unsafe. Oh, we have to go in.’ And that they have a certain type of authority over us. That’s not the case.”
“I”m pretty sure in your community, there’s not people policing your community,” Cannon continued. “They’re protecting it.”
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