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Last Tuesday (June 9), a pedestrian walking through Fort Tryon Park in New York City discovered a Black man hanging from a tree near the Hudson River, as the New York Daily News reports. The bodies of Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch were also found hanging from trees in California, 10 days and 50 miles apart, as the New York Times reports. Veteran rapper and activist Yo-Yo recently took to Instagram to speak out regarding the current lynchings that have taken place.

“I’m coming at you not even as Yo Yo right now. I’m coming at you as Yolanda who is a mother, an activist, a voice in my community, a leader, and just outright pissed about all of the nonsense that’s been taking place here in California these last couple of weeks,” the rapper began. The rapper then urged everyone to get their children and family members, sit them down, and “help me tell them or you tell them what we are not going to do is kill each other and what we are not going to do is have them kill us.”

“And what they are not going to do is start lynching our freaking people. Are you out of your mind?” Yo-Yo continued. She then referenced the deaths of both Harsch and Fuller, and how they were referred to as “suicides.” “His family [Harsch] says it’s not. What kind of message are you trying to send?,” Yo-Yo asked before talking about the death of Fuller. “Found this young man hung out of the front of city hall. They ruled it a suicide. Yea, suicide my ass,” Yo-Yo went on before talking about people who called her up to ask her to “tell them to stop looting.”

“No! No, of course not. When they have went from protesting to looting to lynching. What can I say? I’m talking about lives. I’m talking about people no material nonsense. Although it matters to a lot, I care about the people and not material things,” she said.

“So don’t ever call me and tell me to calm nobody down when you’re not excited about what’s going on here in America. Malcolm X’s quote was ‘by any means necessary.'” Yo-Yo concluded. “When somebody uses violence as an act of self-defense, I call it intelligence. Wake up, intelligent people. They are not about to start lynching our people.”

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.

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