Prepare to be uncomfortable.
If you haven’t already seen Joyner Lucas’ I’m Not Racist, you should definitely give it a watch. It has already received millions of views online and has become an increasingly popular topic of debate because it presents a highly uncomfortable discussion of race. The video introduces conflicting perspectives that ultimately divide two men.
I’m Not Racist portrays two racially different men in a warehouse as they spew their blatantly personal and racist perspectives of each other. The one man, a middle-aged Caucasian male, lip sings his side of the story as Joyner Lucas’ synchronized voiceover fills the track. He continues rapping with his ‘Make America Great Again’ hat brought into focus, while the other man, a younger African American male, sits in disgust.
After the first character finishes with, “But there’s two sides to every story, I wish that I knew yours,” the second character continues the incredibly unpleasant conversation.
While the two racially different men go on tirades about what they think of each others respective races, the conversation remains fraught with obscenities and misconceptions. The men finally reach a mutual understanding and hug it out.
I think the video’s ending is the best part. Joyner Lucas’ goal was to show that the two essentially understood each other. With the ending, he portrays the two coming together after engaging in extremely uncomfortable and licentious dialogue about race. Whether or not you agree with how the situation was resolved, you’ll surely appreciate the ending.
Given America’s current political climate and given the history of this country’s racial tensions that have constantly divided citizens, the power of this video is that it emphasizes the power of communication. Too many people comfortably avoid discomfort and I think that Lucas’ effort, although mercilessly honest, shows that one way to effectively resolve conflict is to do so through open and direct communication. Although this video isn’t the absolute solution to racial tensions that currently plague America, its overarching message is one that should be considered.