Lupe Fiasco made headlines, blogs and tweets across the world when he likened President Obama to a terrorist, making the summer of 2011 just a bit hotter. Has he changed his stance on war and the president? Read on:
AllHipHop.com: I wanted to ask you just briefly, just in sort of a hindsight manner. The press made a big deal of your metaphor for President Obama as a terrorist. Do you have any regrets on that now, or maybe a different point-of-view in hindsight?
Lupe: Not at all. Not at all. I made this point when I was on Bill O’Reilly. I said just because — and it stems from Howard Zinn. Howard Zinn said war is terror, right? Howard Zinn has a very deep past, a very powerful political thinker. He was a soldier, actually fought in World War II. He was a guy deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement in the South, [author of] “A People’s History of the United States.” A very powerful dude who I look up to very much so. His words, that war on terror, war and the definition of why we wage war is definitely terror. The people who wage war, what are they? There is no… redefining it for the sake of making yourself feel better when you go to sleep at night. When you bomb a village for no reason at all other than that it’s a hindrance for rearranging some type of political structure or some type of energy structure in the world, or putting yourself in a better strategic position in a region so you can take over that region’s resources? That’s terror. That’s not bringing freedom and liberty to people by eradicating an entire town and killing thousands and thousands of people, millions of people, and standing behind that. So that’s terror. But saying that, it doesn’t negate all of the other qualities or all of the other characteristics of that person. Like Bill O’Reilly, he’s a father, he’s a great speaker, he’s a great thinker. He’s a motivator. He’s a charitable person. But all of that, in itself, also does not not make him a terrorist. You know? It does not.
AllHipHop.com: Echoing. I think we’ve got an echo all of a sudden. Hold on.
AllHipHop.com: Chelsea (publicist)?
Publicist: I’m on, I’m on. That echo is crazy. I think it stopped.
Lupe: Yeah, you figure out the right one?
Publicist: Chuck, are you on?
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, I’m here.
Male: Hold on. Alright you guys, everyone’s back connected.
Lupe: Yeah, so as I was saying, all those good characteristics about him, at the same time too, don’t negate all the negative characteristics about him. That’s clear across humanity, when you critically think, that’s what you do. You think critically.
AllHipHop.com: Right, right, okay. I’m sorry, go ahead.
Lupe: I’m sorry, I’m saying, I’m a proponent of critical thinking. You look at a situation from all points of view. You don’t bring your bias into it. You become open to that same type of conversation. You’re open to be educated, but at that same time you educate. You don’t negate any facts. You don’t create any fictions to push your own preconceptions of someone. You let someone act. I’ve met president Obama when he was still senator Obama playing basketball the night he was nominated to be president of the United States of America in Chicago, and I had this opportunity to be amongst him while he was doing that. And everybody was shaking his head. I specifically remember, as much as this moment means, I can’t shake his hand. I don’t know what he’s like. Right? I don’t know… I’ll shake his hand once I see what he does.
AllHipHop.com: You said you don’t know what he’s what?
Lupe: I said I don’t know what he’s going to do, right? I don’t know what he’s going to do. Hello?
Lupe: Hello, hello? I’m sorry. I didn’t know what he was going to do, so I didn’t want to be a hypocrite and shake his hand. And then it’s like oh man, but you shook his — it was just something personal to me, I’ve got to see what this guy does. That same night he went on TV and was in Grant Park and did the whole thing, I was watching it, and he gave the speech. It was like okay, this is cool, aright. He said we need to get out of Iraq, and I’m like that’s dope. Then he said we need to get in Afghanistan, which is “where the real war is.” That’s Barack Obama. I’m like nah. I don’t agree with that. That’s not where the real war is. What war are we fighting? So from that day… I’m glad I didn’t shake his hand, because I don’t agree with that. Not to say I don’t agree with universal health care, I think that’s fantastic. Let’s repeal and redistribute and redo what we need to do to make sure there’s a fairness within American society and try to limit some of these disparities, but your second act is you bail out all the banks. Your second biggest financial contributor is AIG.
Lupe: But you’re a great guy. You brought the Black professor and the White police officer to drink beer on the white house lawn. That’s fantastic. The next day you’re bombing some town.