After lending high-profile support to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, Jay-Z has kept quiet about Donald Trump and his victory. And as we learned at Sundance last night, where Jay-Z spoke on a panel for his new docu-series TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, ask him a direct Trump question and you'll get shut down. ("Not gonna answer that," he told a Trump-inquiring reporter.)
But Jay's thoughts on activism in Trump's America rang out clearly during the Q&A, wherein the mogul spoke to the need, and the means, for societal change as exemplified by the Womens March.
"We have to organize in a way we never have before," he said, before turning specifically to the political system: "Everything is based on votes, and who you can put in office," he said. "We have to organize...We are the power."
The rapper contextualized the possibility for mass movement and activism in terms of the coordinated global protests the day after Trump's inauguration: "I'm sure a lot of you guys participated in it, but that display of woman power the other day was so amazing and we saw the effect: That no matter what, no matter who’s in office, we are the people that's in power."
Jay's wife Beyoncé, also a Hillary 2016 supporter, expressed solidarity with the Womens March in recent days as well.
While Jay-Z's not ready to say Trump's name quite yet, his call for stronger voter turnout was particularly striking on a day where President Trump made unsubstantiated claims of vast voter fraud in the 2016 election, and called for a "massive investigation" and "stronger voter procedures," all of which has alarmed voter suppression activists.
"More than ever, the people have to come together," Jay told those who listened at Sundance.