T.I. took the stage at the 2015 Triumph Awards and delivered a spoken word performance of “United We Stand” in which he not only shames police brutality but also calls into question the effectiveness of social media activism.
via Rolling Stone:
“United we stand/Because we created a hashtag for Sandra Bland,” he begins while surrounded by members of the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, an African-American theatre company for young adults in the South. “Jumped off the front of the ship and dove into the Internet waves/Swimming with DMs, likes, comments/Not noticing how much it makes us slaves/Chained by man-made device small enough to fit into the palm of our hand/I guess that’s made it easy to swipe to the left and scroll to the next/And forget about Sandra Bland.”
The second verse of T.I.’s spoken word took aim at people sporting “Black Lives Matter” on clothes without actively trying to find ways to work towards change. “If you think solely making them a trending topic is going to solve them/Then you are a part of the problem,” the rapper adds before naming Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland.
T.I.’s performance will air during the Triumph Awards ceremony tonight on TV One, but for now, you can watch it below.