Ice Cube: “We may have a seat at the table, but we still don’t have the power”

Bill Pearis

Photo by Tim Griffin

Ice Cube has been widely criticized this week for working with the Trump administration to make suggestions for bringing their "Platinum Plan" — a program that aims to create 3 million jobs for Black Americans, make Juneteenth a national holiday, and more — more in line with Ice Cube's Contract for Black America. Ice Cube has said Trump and Biden's campaign both reached out, but Biden didn't want to talk till after the election.

After clarifying himself a little more on Twitter, saying that both the Democrats and the Republicans are "all the same until something changes for us" and telling V-103's The Morning Culture show that Trump and Biden are "two sides of the same coin," he's now given an interview with Rolling Stone's Jamil Smith in a article titled "Ice Cube Tries to Explain What in the Hell He Was Thinking."

"Both Democratic and Republican plans are light," Ice Cube said. "There's language in both plans that needs to be made better for black Americans. That being said, [Trump's] plan was pretty thin — and they boosted it up in several areas. Because the problem with all these plans, they say 'minority,' 'people of color,' 'diversity,' and 'urban,' and all these words that don't necessarily mean money going into the hands of black families. They mean money going in a big old pot, and we still got to get our scraps from the bottom of that pot.

Ice Cube says that both parties are throwing around words like "people of color," but the systems remain the same. "All these words that they use, and we think we get a big chunk of that, and we don't. So both parties are guilty. But let me just ask you this because one party we've been very loyal to: What's worse, if your enemy does you wrong, or your family do you wrong?"

As for the differences between Republicans and Democrats, he says, "I think it's good cop, bad cop, man. You know their game. They both cops. They both will lock your ass up quick. They both got the power to lock you up. One mean, one nice. Okay? But it's still the same thing. This is what we dealing with."

On the subject of Black people gaining power: "We may have a seat at the table, but we still don't have the power — and we don't have the power because we don't have any money. We don't have equity. We don't build enough anything. All we got is basically, for lack of a better word, black ass. That's all we got, is being black and maybe an opinion or two."

Ice Cube says whoever wins the election has to focus on Black people specifically. "I love all minorities, but we have to pinpoint things to go specifically to us because we are the specific reason the country's in the situation that it's in, with the turmoil and the huge wealth gap that's now a Grand Canyon between black families and white families. I believe anybody who becomes the president has to refocus on us as a people."

Rolling Stone also asked him about if he thinks the system has changed since NWA released "Fuck Tha Police." "The FBI came after us. Everybody said we was the worst thing in the world. Police were never held accountable. If you was on trial against an officer, if he pointed at you and said you did it, [then] you did it. Nobody questioned the officer's character at all or his motives or his attitude on that day or his procedures." Ice Cube said things started to change years later, the way police procedures were questioned in the Rodney King and OJ trials. "So now, you have police going to jail for murder, you have police getting fired, you have police being held accountable in all different areas. So, that's what I see. From doing that song, it put emphasis on a problem in America and it kept you right there. It just manifests itself in the country. It just took a long time."

Read the interview in full on Rolling Stone.

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Publisher: Bill Pearis