Atlanta rapper, actor and entrepreneur T.I. has never been one to bite his tongue. Saturday, the self-proclaimed “King of the South” was true-to-form when he said he agreed with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and called U.S. President Donald Trump a racist. His words sparked an all-out debate, reported All Hip Hop News.
In a post to Instagram, T.I. shared video footage of Khamenei explaining when Iranians chant “Death To America,” they actually mean “death to Trump, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.” Khamenei continued adding, “It means death to American rulers. We have no problems with the American people.”
In his caption of the video, T.I. sent prayers to
troops on both sides as they face the possibility of war, called Trump a racist
and made it clear that he didn’t feel this was Black people’s war.
“Yep…Ummm-Hmmm … Exactly What HE Said‼️ Ain’t no Iranian never called me no Nigger,infested our communities wit dope & then locked us up for it, allowed the police to pull us over & gun us down with no accountability,or enslaved us and tried to act like da shit ain’t happen. So… as I pray for our soldiers…I’m also gon be praying for theirs. THIS AINT OUR WACHAMP!!!” T.I. wrote. He ended it with the hashtags: #DontStartShitWontBeShit #MAGAHatsAughtaGoFirst
T.I.’s comments come in the wake of fallout after Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iran’s top general Qassim Suleimani, which has prompted the promise of revenge from Iran’s leaders and people.
Users flooded his comments in debate. Some offered views of support, others criticism, while others sought to educate T.I. on Iran’s racial history.
“Caption is all facts!!!” commented fellow rapper
Sy Ari Da Kid. “I want no smoke with these people. Zero…none…nada! Zilch!”
added actor Columbus Short. “Y’all pay attention that ain’t our beef ..prayin
for all the soldiers goin frontline,” wrote producer London On Da Track.
“Listen y’all Iran’s (sic) I’m sorry for y’all lost, take trump and let us be we fw y’all fr especially black people we love y’all,” wrote user @corinmiya. “The fact that he sent troops to get killed for his mess is ridiculous! It’s mad insane,” co-signed user @daisycuellar.
“But the Atlantic slave trade started with the Arab….,”
wrote @mixedgirlell. “Iranian has never called you anything because you don’t
live there. If you living there where there is not as much freedom of speech, a
post like this can get you killed. Appreciate the freedoms we have,” commented
“Solemani was responsible for the death of many
Black American soldiers in Syria but y’all don’t wat to hear that,” wrote user
@therealdlee. “You sound like an idiot. They started saying that in 1979…long
before trump. At least do a little research. You’re a grown man,” wrote user
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 33: Dr. Gina Paige
Jamarlin talks to Dr. Gina Paige about African Ancestry, the company that used DNA to pioneer a new way of tracing African lineages and helped 500,000+ people reconnect with their roots. They discuss whether acquiring a knowledge of self and reconnecting with the motherland is the key to scaling African-American cultural optimization and economic empowerment in America. They also discuss whether folks with resources can be “about that life” with no curiosity to visit the motherland.
According to Celebrity
Insider, one of T.I.’s followers touted the beauty of Iranian people
writing: “I lived there for 3 years, attended ore-school
there, my mother taught school there. They were wonderful to be around every
single day! Believe the media if you want to! No leader is perfect, of course,
but America has put a face of evil on the Middle East for decades! And the
public generally buys it hook line & sinker with NO PERSONAL EXPERIENCE!
Ignorance is not always bliss!”
“I’m not saying what trump was right and he needed to follow protocol however Iran owned slaves until the 1930 the word Arian originated in Iran and white supremacy groups including the nazi pattern there ethnic “cleaning” practices on historical Iranian doctrines …” wrote another user identified as @airmel3234.
“From 869 to 883 in the area of the city of
Basra in the south of what is today modern Iraq, there was a Bantu-speaking
black slave rebellion against their Arab slave masters led by Ali ibn Muhammad,
himself a slave who had been kidnapped from his hometown in East Africa. The event is known as the Zanj Rebellion and the
slaves succeeded in killing tens of thousands of Arab Muslim oppressors before
the rebellion was finally put down. In
most Muslim countries where there was a high number of black slaves (like
Egypt, Turkey, Iran, India), there are virtually no significant black
minorities today.” wrote user ricaro29.
Terrance K. Williams, a well-known Black MAGA supporter, called T.I. a traitor in a passionate Twitter rant. “Listen up T.I. if you wanna be down with Iran, pack your damn bags and get the hell out of this country. Bye! … You are praying for the people that wanna kill Americans, are you serious?! C’mon T.I. C’mon bruh,” Williams said in a video he posted online.
Other users like @miz_mulattoo3 and @wtfarethose3 pointed out that the video of Khamenei’s speech was old. “This is a year old Y’all gotta understand that Iran doesn’t like you Americans now! Stop tryna make friends with the people who don’t like you,” @wtfarethose3 wrote.
Despite this, T.I.’s post has received over 3 million views and over 41,000 comments at the time of this article’s publishing. A lot of users who identified themselves as Iranian also commented. Some agreed they had no problem with the American people, while others told T.I. to further educate himself on their condition. Many followers wrote in Arabic and posted Iran’s flag.
Born Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., T.I. is famous for his #USorELSE stance when it comes to racial issues. No stranger to controversy for his comments, this isn’t the first time he’s come under fire for his politics.
In 2016, T.I. received backlash for saying he couldn’t vote for a woman for president because she’d “make rash decisions emotionally.” Though he apologized then, he seems characteristically unbothered by his latest critics. His most recent Instagram stories show him working out and gushing over his family and friends.
His last post to the platform at time of publication was a meme that reads, “I Am Not A Democrat, I Am Not A Republican, I Am Black!” In the caption T.I. states, “I ONLY care about what affects the people I CARE ABOUT … Straight like THAT!!! #UsorELSE” with a Black Power fist emoji.