A month has passed since George Zimmerman was found not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, much to the dismay of many entertainers, including J. Cole. During an interview with BET, the rapper candidly spoke about the racial profiling and racism he says that’s still prevalent in America.
Cole recalled recently being pulled over by New York City police in Times Square for what police said were illegal window tints. However, the rapper believes “it was because I had my hat low.” He explained, “I just didn’t want to be seen. So I had my hat low and I think I was looking ‘suspicious’ just as a black man with my brim low…I feel like if I was a white man driving, they wouldn’t question me about my tints.”
Cole says the incident wasn’t his first run-in with authorities, adding, “That’s something that I feel like somebody my age that’s white doesn’t have to go through, especially in New York City.”
While discussing women with lighter complexions being used primarily in rap videos, Cole admits that he’s benefited from not being a dark-skinned rapper.
“Barack Obama would not be president if he were dark skin,” Cole declares. “That’s just the truth. I might not be as successful as I am now if I was dark skin.”
He goes on to add, “I’m still as talented as I am and Obama is still as smart as he is, but it’s just a sad truth…it’s a sad reality. I can only naturally assume it’s probably easier for a light-skin male rapper than it might be for a dark-skin male rapper. “
J. Cole , who recently reached gold status with his sophomore album Born Sinner, concludes that he believes people aren’t necessarily “aware” of it, but says racism “still subconsciously affects us.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio