Singer Pharrell Williams predicts that the shooting death of Michael Brown and the subsequent unrest in Ferguson, Mo., are “going to be the longest hangover in race relations ever.” As a result, black Americans “are feeling hunted,” but he said they should also look to avoid the types of encounters that led to Brown’s death.
“At the same time, we got to start looking at ourselves too, because we are feeling hunted, and we need to be able to avoid these things, and sometimes they’re unavoidable,” he told CNN on Tuesday. “In certain places, yeah, we’re being hunted, but there are good policemen and there are bad policemen, and there are good kids and there are bad kids.”
While Brown did not at all deserve to be shot and killed, he could have avoided the confrontation with police officer Darren Wilson by not standing in the middle of the street, Williams explained, or by not refusing to move out of the street when Wilson asked him to.
Nonetheless, he said the media’s coverage of Brown and the demonstrations, as well as the response by authorities to protests, upped the frustrations of blacks nationwide: “This is a deep laceration in this country. If you think that this will blow over — this is going to be the longest hangover in race relations ever.”
Williams urged President Obama to make a trip to the city to help quell the ongoing tensions there and help ensure that there is trust in the process.
“Because when your parents come in the room, whether it’s you or your cousin that knocked the vase down, both of y’all sit up in attention and — as my dad would say — tighten up,” Williams said of the impact a presidential visit to Ferguson would have.