Pharrell Williams made some controversial comments about Ferguson victim, Michael Brown. Maybe he should start choosing his words more carefully.
The “Happy” singer isn’t making many people very happy with his comments about Brown’s behavior, which smack of victim blaming. In an interview with Ebony, Pharrell said Brown was acting like a bully in the convenience store he was accused of robbing and that he was asking for trouble when he didn’t blindly obey the cops.
“It looked very bullyish; that in itself I had a problem with,” Williams said of the surveillance footage depicting Brown allegedly stealing cigarillos shortly before he was killed by Officer Darren Wilson. “Not with the kid, but with whatever happened in his life for him to arrive at a place where that behavior is OK. Why aren’t we talking about that?”
He tried to clarify his comments, but he winds up just coming off even worse.
“I believe that [the] Ferguson officer should be punished and serve time. He used excessive force on a human being who was merely a child. He was a baby, man. The boy was walking in the middle of the street when the police supposedly told him to ‘get the f*** on the sidewalk,'” Williams said. “If you don’t listen to that, after just having pushed a storeowner, you’re asking for trouble. But you’re not asking to be killed. Some of these youth feel hunted and preyed upon, and that’s why that officer needs to be punished.”
Also to blame? The president.
“I felt like the president should have gone down there,” he said. “I think sending Attorney General Eric Holder was a kind gesture, but the president should have gone. He didn’t have to go and take a side; all he needed to do was show his presence and everybody would have straightened up. But he didn’t go. I won’t fault him. He’s a man with a lot of weight on his shoulders, but I personally would have gone because being a ‘man of the people’ means you’re right there with them in it.”
Everybody, now: Thanks, Obama.
Pharrell’s comments about the case on Twitter were a bit more sympathetic — he didn’t blame Brown for his own fate.
I'm heartbroken over the news of no indictment in Ferguson. Let's all pray for peace.
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) November 25, 2014
We can all agree on that, at least.