Donald Glover speaks out on police brutality, Twitter activism, being white

Donald Glover, the star of the popular NBC comedy Community who lives a double life as the rapper known as Childish Gambino, posted several tweets Thursday in response to the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Mo.

Glover says his Twitter posts, which come in the wake of the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson, compose a poem that he wrote. 

Glover begins by addressing a claim that “Childish Gambino is a white rapper.” He says he wishes he were white so he could benefit from all of the perceived privileges being white would bring. He then writes, “when someone calls me a ‘white rapper,’ i wanna make sure they understand i don’t have all the benefits.”

In the tweets, Glover confesses to being threatened with violence by police despite being a celebrity and calls for all law enforcement to be required to wear recording devices. He also expresses the view that Twitter activism is “wack” and “only half of activism”—an opinion that many involved with the Arab Spring may disagree with.

Childish Gambino isn’t the first musician to speak out on the incidents in Ferguson. Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, has been encouraging her fans to join protests, and other music stars like John Legend, Big Boi of Outkast, Moby, and Questlove chimed in with their opinions on what was happening in the streets.

“when ur turn comes, please listen,” Glover wrote, quoting his mother. He added, “i don’t think it’s fair she has to feel that way.”

His tweets, in chronological order:

Photo via femme run/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Ikenna Anyoku

Ikenna Anyoku

Ikenna Anyoku was a contributor to the Daily Dot from 2014 to 2016 focusing on viral news and entertainment. He now works as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society in New York.