Pharrell Williams: Man Who Lives in $17M Glass House Throws Rhetorical Stones Demanding "Economic Justice"
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In Time, black musician Pharrell demands equity for his people, your equity:

Pharrell Williams: America’s Past and Present Are Racist. We Deserve a Black Future

Pharrell Williams with Michael Harriot
Time•August 20, 2020

America was founded on a dream of a land where all men were created equal, that contained the promise of liberty and justice for all. But all has never meant Black people. Like most Black Americans, I understand that all exists only in the augmented-reality goggles available to shareholders, power brokers and those lucky enough to get in on the initial public offering. But the ongoing protests for equity and accountability that have overtaken cities across the nation have made me feel something new that I can only describe with one word: American.

The desperate longing for economic justice that spurred unrest in the streets of Minneapolis after George Floyd’s murder reminds me of the same fire that burned in the veins of the Sons of Liberty when they dumped 342 chests of tea into the sea at Griffin’s Wharf. (Now we call that incident “the Boston Tea Party”—which is a poetic way to describe a “riot.”) …

Amid so much injury, how do we begin to heal? Given this country’s inescapable legacy, I wondered if it was even possible to convince people that—even if we cannot escape it—we can overcome our past. But if we are ever to hold this nation accountable, we must force it to construct a future that offers us the same opportunities for wealth, prosperity and success as the ground-floor profiteers who built an empire with our free labor. We deserve the interest earned from those Confederate dollars

Why are white Southerners still living high on the hog from their chests full of Confederate dollars still earning interest?

and the refund of our tax dollars handed out to our white brothers and sisters in the New Deal while our neighborhoods were redlined. We want the return on our investment from when our local tax dollars funded schools our children couldn’t attend. We want actual liberty and justice not just for some Americans, but for all.

So, in assembling this project, I asked some of the most qualified people I know in every field—from Angela Davis

Prof. Angela Davis’s expertise includes what kind of firearm should you buy to blow a judge’s head off.

to Tyler, the Creator, to Representative Barbara Lee—to talk with us, and with one another, about the way forward. I wanted to convey a vision of a future filled with the artists, creators and entrepreneurs who can fulfill the promise of this country’s principles.

For more than 400 years, the only path to the American Dream was an access-restricted, privately owned road. Black Americans have never been free to harvest the fruit of America’s bounty, even though we were forced to do the field work. Ensuring that every citizen has the same opportunity to succeed and flourish—regardless of class, gender or skin color—is as patriotic a principle as declaring “no taxation without representation.” It is the only way to guarantee life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The activists who tossed chests of tea into the ocean to protest economic injustice were patriots. But they were also oppressors, unwilling to extend the freedoms for which they fought to everyone. America’s wealth was built on the slave labor of Black people: this is our past. To live up to America’s ideals, we must trust in a Black vision of the future.

“Black Americans have never been free to harvest the fruit of America’s bounty” — just think of how once “economic justice” arrives, Pharrell will finally be able to afford a house in the Hollywood Hills that looks like a home rather than a corporate conference center:

Pharrell bought this charming, cozy cottage from Tyler Perry for $15.6 million.

A friend writes:

Pharrell needs a glass house this large high in Beverly Hills, overlooking the city, so he could be better able to survey all the injustices and white supremacy going on below him.

Pharrell abides.

I don’t know about you but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ he’s up there. Pharrell. Keepin’ an eye on the systemic racism of all us sinners down below.

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