Nick Cannon has been vocal about injustice in the past, but now the actor, rapper and business mogul is channeling his disdain for the unfair treatment of Black people into a new video titled “Stand For What?”
Released on Sunday to his YouTube Channel, the series of compelling clips see Cannon use spoken word to address the hypocrisies of the National Anthem as it pertains to African Americans.
“Stand for what? The beginning of Slavery in 1619 Or the end of those Black Marines of 1814? That’s really what the lyrics are about,” he says. “They may have taken the word ‘slave’ out, but they forget to remove the slave connotations from their brains and they mouth.”
Cannon starts the video with footage of the recent protests in reaction to the acquittal of St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley for the shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. The video quickly works in cinematic and photographic footage of over 400 years of racial oppression throughout the four-minute production. Throughout the clip, Cannon cites the violent protestors in Charlottesville, the Ku Klux Klan and police who have taken the lives of unarmed Black men as the reason why he doesn’t feel African Americans should feel compelled to stand during the anthem.
He repeats the phrase,“Stand for what?” throughout the video. Before ending his prose, he calls for all Americans to recognize and acknowledge history, while making it clear that his respect will only be given to those who earn it.