Frank Ocean has added his voice to the serious discussion about recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, where a police officer shot to death unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, leading to days of protests. Ocean took to Tumblr to a post of photo from a press conference yesterday, where Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the state highway patrol would take over from local police in supervising Ferguson’s security. The channel ORANGE singer wrote:
You see that black woman standing up there? I wonder if she was called to stand behind the governor because she’s black. I wonder if i’m supposed to think Missouri’s gov’t is pro-black because of her being stood up there with those other black men being all black and everything. I wonder if she was off the clock while she stood up there. If she was off the clock..then i wonder if she was getting paid for her time off like the guy who shot Michael 8 times. What’s that guy’s name by the way?
As The New York Times reports, officials in Ferguson today identified the police officer who shot Brown as Darren Wilson, who has been with the department for six years.
Earlier this week, Killer Mike posted a powerful call for empathy with Brown’s family as fellow human beings. After reports of rising tensions between protesters and police, including the use of tear gas and rubber bullets (along with the arrests of journalists), Big Boi, Janelle Monáe and other artists addressed the Ferguson situation via social media.
Update: Below, hear J. Cole‘s new song “Be Free,” which he dedicated to Brown with the following note.
Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black. I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free – Cole