Ice Cube called for systematic change in his new The Hill op-ed article, accompanied by his proposed “Contract with Black America.” As the U.S. heads into the presidential election this fall, the N.W.A. co-founder demands that politicians address racial inequalities within the banking and finance industries, criminal justice system, policing, education and Hollywood and lay out a system for reparations.
“As a writer, rapper and producer, I have called out police brutality and other injustices for decades. I have been censored, smeared, slammed and had my life threatened for my work — for speaking the truth,” Ice Cube writes in his op-ed. “The exploitation, oppression and erosion of Black people and culture has gone on too long. This country needs a second Reconstruction to address systemic inequalities, rooted in a Contract with Black America that I and others are proposing.”
The award-winning rapper challenged politicians to create real “systemic change” rather than just “throwing [Black people] bones.”
“We need the opportunity that comes from banking and finance reforms to help close the gap where a typical white family’s net worth is nearly ten times than that of a black family,” he writes. “Although ‘redlining’ is now illegal, black applicants are rejected for mortgages and other types of loans at more than double the rate of white applicants. When they do get approved, they must pay higher rates to borrow.”
“We need criminal justice reforms that include eliminating mandatory minimum sentences and ‘three strikes’ laws,” the article continues. “Both contribute to black Americans being 33 percent of U.S. inmates although we are 13 percent of the population. Privately run prisons should be banned and prisoner labor without consent — a form of slavery — outlawed.”
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, Ice Cube has continued to call attention to police reform, reparations, inequality within Hollywood and other areas of injustice. Read his full “Contract with Black America,” with written contribution from Ohio State University Professor Derrick Hamilton and The New School Professor Henry Cohen — here.