Will.i.am On Police Brutality: ‘We Gotta Stop Killing Ourselves’

So far we’ve seen many stars react to the polarizing subject of police brutality and race in America. The conversation has only heated up with the recent deaths across America. While many celebrities have reacted to the devastating violence going on in the country, Will.i.am is calling for peace and reflection in the black community.

Two weeks ago, the death of Alton Sterling, who died after being shot by police in Baton Rogue, and the death of Philando Castile, whose death was captured live on Facebook after a police officer pulled him over, saw an uprising of sorts from the Black Lives Matter group. The group often organizes rallies to raise awareness about black lives and how they are affected by police brutality.

The fall-out from the two deadly shootings resulted in the deaths of eight police officers. The separate shootings left five police officers dead in Texas and another three dead in Baton Rogue.

As stated, recording artist and producer, Will.i.am, has sounded off on how the black community has to come together and not spew hate or point fingers. The rapper said that in order to make situations better, instead of “destroying communities” people need to focus on building the community and educate children.

When stopped by TMZ, Will.i.am was asked about recent comments made by rapper Lil Boosie, who said that black people are so enraged by what’s going on, that more police officers are bound to be killed out of retaliation. “Even the older generation, they’re upset about it. There’s a lot of anger. It’s a bad position for a lot of people. It’s a bad position for the police..it’s all out craziness, and I don’t think it’s going to stop if they don’t convict officers.” The rapper said that these problems in the communities will escalate the violence.

When asked what he thinks about the comments by Boosie, Will.i.am looked like he was struggling for words before he told the cameras his thoughts about what’s going on in America. “I don’t think that’s what we need. At the same time I feel the pain.”

Instead of taking the same stance as Lil Boosie, Will said, “I think we need to put our energy on building up our communities ourselves. Building our communities to be affluent, and thriving like Brentwood.” The rapper references the neighborhood Brentwood, because it’s one of the most affluent neighborhoods in California, with an excellent education system, which is something some communities are lacking, specifically within the African American community.

“It’s a 20 year plan. We never thought that far. We never thought future thinking where we can build. When that happens, there’s no cop problems, because there’s no problems in Brentwood. It’s problems in the hood. How do we take accountability for ourselves? More than fifty percent of black people killed in America are killed by black people. We gotta stop killing ourselves and stop destroying our community when something goes wrong.”

If his message sounds familiar, it should, after all, Will.i.am has been an advocate for peace and speaking out against violence. Right after the attacks on New York on 9/11 Will.i.am, a member of the Black Eyed Peas, released a song featuring Justin Timberlake called “Where Is The Love?” which asked communities to come together in a peaceful way in the wake of such hatred and destruction on American soil.

That said, not everyone agrees with Will.i.am’s comments:

[Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]