Z-Ro, the Houston rap legend, has an album dropping next week, but the recent acts of police brutality have weighed on him heavily.
Alton Sterling, a 37-year old from Baton Rouge, and Philando Castile, a 32-year old Minneapolis man, were both killed by police this week. Bystanders taped the death of Sterling, which closely resembled an execution by police. Castile was pulled over for a “routine traffic stop” and was shot after he reached for his identification. His girlfriend Diamond Reynolds said in a Facebook live video, “He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm.”
Z-Ro has a lot of opinions on the topic coming out of the Missouri City area of Houston, Texas. He said police are intent on breaking down Black men.
Z-Ro told AllHipHop.com:
“Every time you turn around, they want you soft. They want you to not put up a fight about nothing. ‘Hey go over there and sit down.’ You put your chest out, they shoot you. Stand up for your rights, they shoot you. Walk by ’em too fast, they shoot you. That’s what it is.”
However, he offered concrete solutions that, if implemented, could change the paradigm between Black American and the police:
“When you are looking to steer clear of the subject, you will just [say], don’t do nothing to get apprehended but the crazy part is, you don’t have to do nothing. But, when you look at it like a survivalist, you come up with stuff like, ‘Lets police our own streets. Lets stop calling 911.’ Unless its a medical emergency or a fire. If you see somebody fighting, man, put your camera phone down. Don’t record that. Go an break it up. If somebody’s arguing, don’t call the police. They gonna definitely shoot the male. You turn around [to the police and say] ‘What? [aggressively].’ You definitely getting tazed. You dead in your coffin, you still getting tazed. Its retarded and you really gotta come up with ‘Police Your Own Area.’ You own neighborhood watch. Say:’We don’t need [police] to roll through here. We’re rolling through here.’”
Z-Ro also stated that violence against the police wasn’t the way to go, as so have suggested.
“If we revolutionize and start the killing [of enemies], then that is gonna promote more killing and that’s going to be less of us. Because, we gotta sneak our weapons. But, if we get out there and say, ‘In Mo City (Missouri City), we got this. In Fifth Ward in Houston, us 100 people, we got this. South Park, we got this. If you do that, you come up with your own force, man.”
Brown V. Board of Education formally declared separate public schools were unconstitutional, however Z-Ro suggested African Americans may have to create their own communities to survive the onslaught of police brutality.
“[Remember] how they used to say ‘going back to Africa?,’ you can go back to Africa in a sense by just making a village in your community. Cutting down on a whole lot of that riff raff by actually policing yourself. Not being police. We don’t want to be those. But, for your neighborhood, get out there and go check on Mrs. Williams. You hear something? Go over there and check it out. Get you one dude that can carry and some dudes that can beat some faces in and you over over there and see what it is. That way you can stop a whole lot of BS, but you can also stop a whole lot of senseless killing. You know how they [the police] treat us, man. That’s my solution that I see. I’ve thought of a lot of solutions.”
Lastly, he stated that a community watch could help those that have been systemically locked out of the workforce.
“A lot of people that don’t have nothing to do, now they got something to do. Now they got something to do. That’ll probably give jobs. You ain’t gotta sit around here We hate the badge.”