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Nicki Minaj Speaks Out on Police Brutality and Inequality in New Interview


by Tshepo Mokoena for The Guardian

Nicki Minaj has spoken about the war on drugs in the US, likening mass incarceration to slavery in a recent interview with Billboard magazine.

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“What it has become is not a war on drugs,” she said. “It has become slavery. Or something crazier. When I see how many people are in jail, I feel like, ‘Wait a minute. Our government is aware of these statistics and thinks it’s OK?’ The sentences are inhumane.”
In a cover story interview that touched on music, acting and Minaj’s relationship with fellow rapper Meek Mill, Minaj spoke about the lengthy terms given for drug offences since former US president Richard Nixon first declared a war on drugs into law in the 1970s.

In July, Barack Obama highlighted his push for the criminal justice reform of jail terms linked to drugs that tend to disproportionately impact African American and Hispanic citizens with an historic visit to a federal prison. Of the visit, Minaj said: “I thought it was so important when he went to prisons and spoke to people who got 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 years for drugs. There are women who are raped, people who are killed and [offenders] don’t even serve 20 years.”

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Minaj added: “I was blown away, watching the footage of him speaking to the prisoners. They never felt like anyone in the White House cared about them. I loved that he made them people again.”
Billboard also asked Minaj about the Black Lives Matter protest movement that has shed light on racialised policing and the deaths of unarmed black men and women throughout the year. “I did research on the Sandra Bland case,” Minaj said, referring to the case of a black Texan woman who was arrested during a routine traffic stop on her way to work and was found dead in her jail cell three days later. “That’s why it hit me so hard. I remember speaking to other women at the time. This could have been me. I’m a sassy woman. I may have given a little bit of attitude to a police officer. I could have never come home.”

Continue reading at The Guardian

Photo: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

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