‘This Song Is Uncomfortable’
“White Privilege II”
Ben Haggerty/Macklemore: I was in Seattle. And it starts there. It starts with that moment of observing police brutality happening, again, with no accountability — and me stepping into a protest with a lot of baggage, feeling out of protest shape, when there’s this moment of injustice and I am feeling so compelled that I need to do something, yet also stepping into that space in my own head of, “Should be here? Is there something that I’m going to get called out for, being here? Am I going to distract more than actually do any good by being present here?” And all of these questions that I had.
Jamila Woods: Yeah, I think hearing that verse was one of the most intriguing parts of the song to me. The protests I’ve attended, I’ve seen and experienced some tension between white activists, or even [just] white people attending protests, who don’t necessarily have a moment of introspection — who maybe are just taking up airtime, you know, destroying things or just doing things that are distracting from what the protest is actually for. To me, I feel like it’s an important thing not to just consider yourself an ally by showing up, but to really investigate what your role can be in a productive way. And that comes from authentically engaging with the people — the black people — who are leading the protest.