Single accusation filed against rapper Akwasi for inciting violence at anti-racism rally
At least one report was filed against rapper Akwasi to the Amsterdam police accusing him of inciting hatred and violence due to a statement he made against Zwarte Piet at an anti-racism demonstration in Amsterdam last week. While the musician and poet said his words were meant to bolster people's refusal to accept racism and discrimination, some took offense at one light in his speech that day.
"The moment I see a Zwarte Piet, I will personally kick him in the face," he reportedly said as part of his speech. His management said it was a metaphorical remark and not to be taken as a motivation for violence.
That line during the rally against systemic racism and police brutality on Dam Square caused a stir on social media. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) said it was investigating whether Akwasi did anything punishable, RTL Nieuws reports.
Police confirmed they received one report accusing Akwasi of inciting hatred and violence because of that statement. More reports are expected this week, a spokesperson for the police said to RTL Nieuws, declining to comment on who filed the report.
The rapper's manager told RTL Boulevard that his statements during the demonstration, and on other occasions, should be seen as "a call for resistance and not violence". He also wants to emphasize that he and many other Netherlands residents believe that Zwarte Piet should not exist. "As long as there are Dutch people in Blackface makeup around a children's party, it feels like a slap in the face for many Dutch people. Akwasi wanted to give words to that emotion," his manager said.
His manager also said that Akwasi is considering reporting some of the threats he received since his speech to the police. He posted a number of these threats on Instagram.
Shortly after the event in Amsterdam, Akwasi appeared on talk show M, where he gave a spoken word performance about the issues of racism and discrimination. In the poem, translated from Dutch, Akwasi said:
Sorry that I breath, I can't help it.
Or that I want to play a war game, that I want to go home.
That I want to jog or that I just came home.
Sorry for you prejudices.
I apologize for your well-meaning racism.
Sorry for my vote and sorry for my generation.
Sorry for Sylvana Simons, she just can't handle injustice.
Sorry that I'm no Humberto Tan when Jack Spijkerman says I'm not only dark but stupid.
Sorry, my name is Rishi Chandrikasing.
Sorry, my name is now Mitch Henriquez.
Sorry for your police brutality.
Excuse me for your excess.
The excessive disproportionate of ethnic profiling in your black head (cup).. coffee.
Sorry that I'm black, sorry that I think black and sorry that I speak black.
Sorry that I blacken and work black, I have to.
And sorry about George Floyd, he couldn't hold his breath anymore
And he said to me, whoever you are, and whatever skin color you have, please don't hold back ever again.