I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White

This rap song by Prince EA targets all the "labels" that society, education and cultural stereotypes place on individuals, creating divisions, emargination, wars. Prince EA (born Richard Williams on September 16, 1988 in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American rapper, artist and activist, and a popular YouTuber.
I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White
    Language Notes and Explanations
  • Prince Ea= a stage name derived from the Sumerian myth "Prince of the Earth"
  • never ever= the expression gives more emphasis to a simple "never"
  • skin-deep= superficial
  • break something down= break big tasks down into smaller, more manageable units
  • dealership= a business that sells new or used cars at the retail level, based on a contract (concessionario)
  • money down= first payment towards a larger sum to reserve an item; synonim of downpayment (anticipo, caparra)
  • APR = annual percentage rate (APR) is the interest rate for a whole year, corresponding sometimes to a nominal APR and sometimes to an effective APR (EAPR), that is TAN and TAEG in the Italian financial language
  • I fail to see= I cannot see, I am unable to see
  • Error vs. mistake= though often interchangeable, the two terms have differences. Errors are more severe than mistakes: a mistake is an accident, an error implies something else, such as neglicence or ignorance. Machines never make mistakes, but rather they make errors, people can make both.
  • rip something off= to remove something very quickly (strappar via)
  • to slap with labels= to place stickers, like price tags, onto objects in shops or on packages
  • DNA = acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid, the carrier of genetic information present in nearly all living organisms.
  • FDA = Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA), a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, that gives mandatory regulations
  • to flatten out= to stop from rising or falling, to keep at the same level
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[0:00]I am not Black.
I mean, that's what the world calls me, but it's not... me.
I didn't come out of my mother's womb saying, "Hey everybody, I'm... Black."
No, I was taught to be black

[0:20] And you were taught to call me that
Along with whatever you call yourself
It's just a... label

[0:30] See, from birth the world force-feeds us these.... labels
And eventually we all swallow them
We digest and accept the labels, never ever doubting them
But there's one problem:

[0:40] Labels are not you, and labels are not me
Labels are just ...labels
But who we truly are is not... skin... deep

[0:50] See, when I drive my car, no one would ever confuse the car for... me
Well, when I drive my ...body, why do you confuse me for my... body?
It's... my ...body... get it? Not me
Let me break it down

[1:00] See, our bodies are just cars that we operate and drive around
The dealership we call society decided to label mine the "black edition,"
Yours the "Irish" or "White edition"

[1:20] And with no money down, 0% APR, and no test drive
We were forced to own these cars for the rest of our lives
Forgive me, but I fail to see the logic or pride
In defining myself, or judging another, by the cars we drive
Because who we truly are is found inside

[1:40] Listen, I'm not here to tell you how science has concluded that genetically we're all mixed
And race in the human species doesn't exist
Or how every historian knows that race was invented in the 15th century
To divide people from each other and it has worked perfectly...
No! I'm not here to lecture.

[2:00] I just want to ask one question
Who would you be if the world never gave you a label?
Never gave you a box to check.
Would you be White? Black? Mexican?
Asian? Native American? Middle Eastern? Indian?
No. We would be one; we would be together

[2:20] No longer living in the error
Of calling human beings Black people or White people
These labels that will forever blind us from seeing a person for who they are

[2:30] But instead seeing them through the judgmental, prejudicial, artificial filters of who we THINK they are
And when you let an artificial label define yourself

[2:40] Then, my friend, you have chosen smallness over greatness and minimized your... self
Confined and divided your ...self from others
And it is an undeniable fact that
When there is division, there will be conflict
And conflict starts wars

[2:55] Therefore every war has started over labels
It's always us... versus them
So the answer to war, racism, sexism, and every other -ism
Is so simple that every politician has missed it

[3:05] It's the labels...
We must rip them off
Isn't it funny how no baby is born racist
Yet, every baby cries when they hear the cries of another
No matter the gender, culture or color

[3:20] Proving that deep down, we were meant to connect and care for each other
That is our mission, and that it's not my opinion
That is the truth in a world that has sold us fiction

[3:30] Please listen, labels only distort our vision
Which is why half of those watching this will dismiss it
Or feel resistance and conflicted
But, just remember...
So did the cater-pillar

[3:40] Before it broke through its shell and became the magnificent butterfly
Well, these labels are our shells and we must do the same thing
So we can finally spread our wings

[3:50] Human beings were not meant to be slapped with labels like groceries at supermarkets
DNA cannot be regulated by the FDA
We were meant to be free

[4:00] And only until you remove them all And stop living and thinking so small Will we be free to see ourselves and each other for who we... TRULY... are

[4:15] [after the song]
So what can we do in the face of all this madness... can I ask what is the solution? We can love. Trying to control the mind is like trying to flatten out water. You just make more waves.