Waters: Government policies 'responsible' for 'blocking' minorities from ability to 'build wealth'

Waters also says she was labeled 'anti-cop' for refusing to 'criticize' rapper ICE-T's 'Cop Killer' song

Updated: September 21, 2020 - 10:17am

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House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters argued Thursday in a virtual roundtable that government policies have been "responsible for the blocking of the ability to build wealth in minority communities in general."

While speaking with performing artists such as actor and rapper Ice Cube, Waters also said she was labeled "anti-cop" for refusing to "criticize" rapper Ice-T for his famous 1992 song "Cop Killer," in which he raps about police brutality as the frontman of the group Body Count.

"One of the things we do know, guys, is this, that the lack of the ability to build wealth was built into our systems in this country continuously, and so where a lot of people will say, 'Well, you know, you've got to work and pull yourself up by the bootstraps and all of this,' public policy has been responsible for the blocking of the ability to build wealth in minority communities in general, in black and Latino communities in general," Waters said during a "Young, Gifted, and Black" discussion at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Legislative Conference.

"What is it in public policy that did not allow you to have access to loans and to capital in order to invest in businesses when others seem to be able to go to the bank and get loans based on the fact that you say, 'Look, this is what I do, I've got a lot of contracts, but it's going to take me, you know, $20 or $30 million just to get this started and because you have collateral, right there, you get the money but not for us, and so we're looking at that in housing," Waters added. "We're looking at that in our economy in general."

The California Democrat was joined by Ice Cube, whose net worth is reportedly $100 million, at the roundtable discussion about social and economic issues in the African-American community. 

During the conversation, Waters asked Ice Cube whether hip-hop artist Ice-T or N.W.A. were the first to say "F the police" in a song. "Cop Killer," Ice-T's 1992 song with the group Body Count, included the lyrics, "F*** the police." In 1988, N.W.A. released the song "F*** tha Police."

"It was in N.W.A., but Ice-T was the first one to start talking about our neighborhoods on a record," Ice Cube said. "We would do it on undercover mixed tapes, and we didn't think people cared enough about us to do it on a record."

In response, Waters said that "there were folks that were trying to get us to make negative comments about Ice-T, and those of us who refused to do it, of course, of course, are considered, what do they call us? 'Anti-cop,' 'anti-police,' because we refused to criticize."

Just the News asked Waters' office if the congresswoman condemns the lyrics of "Cop Killer" and "F*** tha Police" today but did not receive a response before publication. 

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