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STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY

Struggle for Equality

Riley Rew

9/24/2018

State College of Florida: Bradenton Campus

Author Note

This paper was prepared for Written Communications I (ENC 1101), taught by Professor

Bojanowski.
STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY

Struggle for Equality

“Although slavery may have been abolished, the crippling poison of racism still persists,

and the struggle still continue” ~ Harry Belafonte. Racial equality is an extreme predicament in

the United States as police brutality and an inadequate justice system plague the country. In

1988, the rap group NWA released a song titled “Fuck tha Police”. The song criticizes multiple

problems with the treatment of people of colour and minorities. In the song “Fuck tha Police”,

the group NWA explains how racial stereotyping and discrimination from police affects their

everyday life.

The group, NWA, are a hip-hop/rap group. Their general target audience aims at a

younger generation, especially minorities as well as people of colour. In the specific song, “Fuck

tha Police”, they also target the justice system. The group was active between 1986-1991 and

made an abundant number of songs during this time frame. NWA was extremely influential as

well as popular, even to the point where Rolling Stones ranked the group eighty third on their list

of the “100 Greatest Artist of All Time”. In the song “Fuck tha Police”, the group elaborates on a

problem a majority of African American youth underwent, especially racial discrimination and

stereotyping. The group also criticize the police and laws unfair treatment of minorities and

people of colour.

The songs chorus contains a focus on racial discrimination, especially from police.

Under the fourteenth amendment, all citizens regardless of colour have equal protection under

the law. It seems as to NWA; this amendment is widely overlooked. “Fuck the police! /Comin'

straight from the underground/A young nigga got it bad cause I'm brown/And not the other color,

so police think/They have the authority to kill a minority” (NWA,1988, Lines 15-19). In this

selection of lines, the issue of racial inequality and discrimination is present. In the last lines of
STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY

this selection, NWA states that because “they” are not the other colour, which is white, police

feel they have the power to take someone’s life. This line is still accurate today as there are an

immense amount of unarmed African American people killed by police each year.

The next discussed section focuses on racial profiling from the police. Profiling or

stereotyping is an extremely common form of racism in which people judge others based on

opinions and encounters. “They put out my picture with silence/Cause my identity by itself

causes violence” NWA, 1988, Lines 34-35. This lyric conveys that, “they” (police), depict

minorities as well as African American people as vile and dangerous and that they are as a group

associated with violence. The association of colour and a personality is the exact problem

discussed here. Another way this section can be comprehended is that African Americans and

minorities are targeted based on racist stereotypes which in turn can cause more interaction

between the law and these groups of people. This is a main reason for police’s violent tendencies

around certain groups of people.

Another set of lines reiterates the inequality under the law for certain groups. There are

thousands of cases each year with biased opinions based on a person’s ethnicity. “Reading my

rights and shit, it’s all junk” (NWA, 1988, Lines 48-49). These set of lyrics criticize how much a

law actually means in a person’s daily life. Multiple amendments pushing for equality for

African Americans have been passed including the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth

amendment. Even so, NWA explains that regardless if something is law it doesn’t make a

difference when it comes to treatment from the police especially. In a court of law as well as in

public, people should be treated equally, but even in regular day encounters with police a lot of

misfit actions are committed daily. NWA does a stunning job describing the difference between

a document saying people are equal regardless of race and the terrible truth.
STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY

NWA’s “Fuck tha Police” is a hip-hop/rap song with a strong equal rights message. The

song does an exceptional job elaborating on daily problems occurring in minority and African

American life. These problems include but are not limited to; unfair treatment from police as

well as the law system and biased/unjust stereotyping and profiling as well. The problem this

song hopes to fix is the gap in equality between races. The fact that this song was made over two

decades ago and these problems still occur needs to be fixed.