Popular Christian rapper Lecrae published a raw open letter last Thursday, claiming “the pains of humanity” have been draining him, and that, as a result, he’s experienced “depression and so many doubts.”
Lecrae, whose real name is Lecrae Devaughn Moore, has been vocal of late in the wake of police shootings that have killed African American men, embracing the “black lives matter” sentiment and encouraging people to turn to the Christian gospel.
The letter, published on The Huffington Post, opens with Lecrae acknowledging that he’s been overwhelmed by the negative critiques he’s received due to his open discussion of the issues affecting the black community.
It's okay. God got me.
— Lecrae (@lecrae) October 23, 2016
“I’m a mess. I’ve been grieving the loss of black lives since 2014…without consultation,” he wrote at the start of his letter. “Been fighting critics and scrutiny since 2012. I can’t even read comments on social media anymore. All the slander is too much for any one person to digest.”
The rapper went on to discuss how he, at one point, “hit a serious low” on tour, feeling overwhelmed by “American Christian culture,” though he didn’t go much deeper into the details.
Lecrae said he had no voice and no authenticity and felt like a puppet — a dynamic that left him not knowing how to talk to God. That’s when he said he learned of the deaths of African American men like Mike Brown and Eric Garner, among others.
“People kept killing us. As I shared my heart, my supporters turned on me even more — fans and friends. There was no empathy,” Lecrae wrote. “Though some comments were just evil and hurtful, others were steeped in ignorance and lack of perspective. They didn’t get it.”
An open letter to my fans and supporters #CantStopMeNow https://t.co/MEWn4LVAqu pic.twitter.com/kxWw1Ddxoe
— Lecrae (@lecrae) October 20, 2016
While he went on to say he doesn’t “hate police” and has had many close friends and relatives who have worked in law enforcement, he believes the system is neither fair nor just.
It’s his own experience that he said has made him conclude that “black lives matter,” though he was careful to note that embracing that sentiment isn’t an “endorsement of the organization” that bears the same name.
Rather than “whining about the past,” as some critics believe Lecrae and others are doing, he said those addressing race issues are, instead, trying to showcase how the past impacts the present as well as the future.
“If you enslave and torture a people for 400 years, tell them they are free but torture them another 100 years, and then kind of give them rights begrudgingly 50 years ago, how can you expect zero systemic effects?” he wrote. “You can’t wipe away a 500-year trauma in 50 years.”
With all of this in mind, Lecrae admitted he’s drained and exhausted, though it’s not simply the deaths of black men at the hands of cops that have him down. In addition to the negative reaction from his activism, he said he recently buried his cousin and saw a friend betray his trust. Depression and doubt have been the natural result of these collective scenarios.
“But I’m working on me. Well, God is,” Lecrae concluded. “And as He is, I hope for grace and mercy and prayers from all those who really care. God Bless.”
You can read the open letter for yourself here.
#philandocastile Arguments only prove my point. I will never stop. Justice. Side note the #AllLivesMatter hashtag is like spitting in the face of black folk. It comes off as extremely selfish and unsympathetic to a mourning person. Not because all lives don't matter. Of course they do. But it's very clear that black lives don't to many in this country. No one goes up to lung cancer patients and says "Folks with Breast cancer matter too!" #AllCancerPatients matter. That's Insensitive. True faith stands up for the oppressed and the broken. Obviously many can't see the systemic effects of racism and abused authority. Many can't see that racism has stained this country because they are privileged to not see it. Also Christians saying that " preaching the gospel is all we need" ignores how sin affects infrastructures and societal systems. They project blame on themselves when they see these kinds of posts. You assume my anger is at white people and not white supremacy. No there are many "woke" white folks out here. Allies and friends. But if you ever trusted in anything I've said, if you've used my words to stir your hope or joy, then trust that same voice now. This is an epidemic that school books or church services haven't taught you. And listen if you really really hate this post you are always free to Unfollow me. I'll still love you.
Lecrae has faced increased scrutiny of late, as he has vocally weighed in on his views about black deaths at the hands of police. In September, he tweeted, “Take a knee…people riot. Take a bullet…people quiet” — a reference to tough public reaction to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the national anthem.
As Deseret News reported, Lecrae has also taken aim at those who use the hashtag #AllLivesMatter, saying doing so is insensitive.
“No one goes up to lung cancer patients and says ‘Folks with Breast cancer matter too!’ #AllCancerPatients matter,” Lecrae said in an Instagram post earlier this year. “That’s insensitive.”