Los Angeles, CA-Compton rapper YG (born Keenan Jackson) is the latest person to find themselves caught up within the controversy surrounding Anti-Asian hate in the U.S. His song and music video “Meet the Flockers” has seemingly been removed from Youtube during an internal battle at the company. Last week, employees sent an internal request seeking to have the song removed from the platform–only to receive pushback from Executives who worried about subsequent issues around removing offensive content from Youtube’s platform moving forward and the violation of an artist first amendment rights.
This is not the first time the song has become the center of controversy. In 2016, the Asian community of Oakland held a rally and press conference saying that YG’s lyrics promoted the targeting of Asian American’s homes. Oakland City Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney was also in attendance in support of the Oakland Asian community.
“First, you find a house and scope it out / Find a Chinese neighborhood / ‘Cause they don’t believe in bank accounts.”
“In this case, this video receives an EDSA exception as a musical performance,” YouTube’s memo to staffers continued. “While EDSA is not a free pass for any content, there are likely thousands of music videos that would otherwise violate policies including Sex & Nudity, Violent or Graphic Content and Hate Speech were it not for these sorts of EDSA exceptions. As a result, removing this video would have far-reaching implications for other musical content containing similarly violent or offensive lyrics, in genres ranging from rap to rock. While we debated this decision at length amongst our policy experts, we made the difficult decision to leave the video up to enforce our policy consistently and avoid setting a precedent that may lead to us having to remove a lot of other music on YouTube,” (Yahoo News).
It is unclear if Youtube decided to pull the song or if YG’s camp decided it was the best move for the artist. If Youtube removed the song, the Company has indeed opened Pandora’s box for policing “offensive” speech and the fine line of infringing upon artistic expression as well as freedom of speech. In addition, it is rather hypocritical, for these same companies and corporations to not blink an eye when artists are promoting death and destruction in the Black community.
This music, as well as the images, are actually encouraged by white corporations and do nothing but poison the mind of inner city youth, keeping them in arrested development. This responsibility also falls on us within the Black community to take a stand against these offensive images and work to be more conscious of the messages we are promoting to communities already trying to find a sense of meaning to their lives.
As someone who recently had her home broken into in South Central, it always bothered me that white people are literally moving to the community seemingly in droves and Black people still continue to target each other with violence and crime. This has a lot to do with the way we see ourselves and each other, yet you do not hear any activists and news stations mentioning these issues. They see it as just another “daily occurrence” in the ghetto.
The protection of our communities are just as equally as important as Asian communities. While violence should not be promoted towards any community, artistic expression is definitely under attack and “cancel-culture” only makes it worse.
Video: CBS 5 Oakland/Youtube