Queen Latifah Tackles Police Brutality During VH1 Hip-Hop Honors

Queen Latifah made a strong statement over recent events during the VH1 Hip Hop Honors. Tributes were paid to Queen Latifah, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliot, and Salt-N-Pepa during the event, which focused on the female artists in hip-hop.

According to BBC News, Queen Latifah brought up the issue of racism while she was being honored at the ceremony.

She made the comments in the wake of protests that have been taking place across the United States after two black men were killed in separate police attacks last week. Apart from the death of the two men, the events of last week claimed even more casualties as five police officers lost their lives after a man opened fire near a peaceful protest in Dallas.

While being honored at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors, Queen Latifah took the opportunity to speak about the tense situation in the world. Acknowledging the tenseness in the world right now, the actress and singer expressed her hope that people can channel these emotions in a positive way.

Putting her own spin on the issue of systemic racism in the United States, she noted that despite how much she earns or what she owns, racism is still alive and well. For example, if she stands outside and hails a cab, the cab passes her by and stops for a white woman instead.

She was quick to note that it’s certainly not the fault of the white woman either, as she simply “needed a cab too,” but that it’s the attitude that needs to change.

The sentiment of Queen Latifah was echoed by Alicia Garzia, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, who opened the ceremony by saying that people should be focusing on a movement with a goal of love, not violence.

Queen Latifah visited Today the morning after the five police officers lost their lives to a sniper during what had previously been a peaceful protest and spoke on the recent events. According to Today, Queen Latifah sees the issues of police violence from both sides: as a black woman and as someone who has family members who are police officers.

Watch the video here.

As a member of the black community, Queen Latifah deals with the same issues that other black people do, but she also has several police officers in her family, including her father, brother, cousins, and uncles. Queen Latifah stressed the point that society as a whole needs the police and that people should not seek to become enemies of the police.

Despite her feelings towards the police, the actress emphasized the need to hold law enforcement accountable and to make an example of people in the force, because she believes that the violence would not have happened if guilty officers did not play a part in it. She observed that every time a case of police brutality happens, there is usually no one brought to justice in the end. She added that by the time the incidents end up in the news, the police officers involved usually walk free.

Queen Latifah believes that this results in people feeling empty, hurt, and like there is no guarantee that such a crime as won’t be repeated. She also argued that the long-term effects of these incidents for all police officers are that their lives get endangered.

Queen Latifah spoke on how the cases of police brutality endanger the lives of good police officers, saying that “good cops have to walk out here dealing with bad cops’ BS, dealing with the stuff bad cops are doing.”

[Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]