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Ferguson, Missouri, freedom fighters stopped by the Rolling Stone offices in New York City to discuss the ongoing climate in their town with regards to the strained relations between its residents and law enforcement. Millennial Activists United Co-creator Ashley Yates (pictured right), local hip-hop artists T-Dubb-O (pictured left) and Tef Poe (pictured center), and Tory Russell (not pictured), cofounder of Hands Up United were all part of the conversation. The young activists also went in on how many Black celebrities have chosen not to join them in the trenches and have not let their voices be heard in the with regards to the killing of Black teen Michael Brown (pictured in cap and gown below), who was brutally gunned down by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson last summer.  The candid and hard-hitting interview was captured on video.


In the video, Yates speaks to the deep divide in Ferguson that highlights blatantly obvious systemic inequalities. “We’re not vying for political capital. We’re not vying for a political position in the world to say, ‘Let us vote, or let us have this,’” she said. “What we’re vying for is actually our lives. So our level of commitment is what you would do to fight for your life.”

T-Dubb O then sheds a disturbing light on how many Black celebrities have instead chosen to remain silent, not bothering to help dispel the belief that every Black body poses a threat. Yates is taking our Black celebs to task for just sitting back and not addressing the pervasiveness of unconscious biases, not working to reduce them, and not ceasing a moment to help remove the structural barriers that surrounds towns like Ferguson–particularly since they are now under an international lens.

“We got all these Black athletes, Black rappers, all these one-percents, record label owners, CEOs that’s not saying nothing, that’s not bringing nothing to the community. You’re bleeding the community dry,” he contends. “The shoes we buy, the clothes we buy, the music we play, the videos we watch. You glorify being from the hood, but [you] do nothing for it. You glorify being from the trenches, but do nothing for it. When they killing us, you stand by silent when you have this platform…we don’t have a Rolling Stone in St. Louis we can go to.”

He added, “You get invited to these interviews daily, and you quiet. You quiet. You still on your tours, you still dropping your bullshit records that nobody believe. The streets don’t believe you.”

Watch the compelling interview here.


Young Ferguson Activists Take Black Celebrities To Task For Their Noninvolvement In the Protests was originally published on

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65 thoughts on “Young Ferguson Activists Take Black Celebrities To Task For Their Noninvolvement In the Protests

  1. croberts on said:

    One of the biggest protesters is missing from this group cause he was caught setting fire to the Quick trip in town next door after last weeks shooting of another black man attacking a policeman.

  2. Democrats are attacking and killing the police; rioting is not enough, looting is not enough, invading homes is not enough, flash protesting shoppers is not enough, burning the businesses of innocent families is not enough … nothing will satisfy them except complete servitude…and I will never bow to them – FTD!

  3. JustMakesSense on said:

    People choose to not protest because they have a brain and know how to discern between seeking justice and just being one sheep in an ignorant and disgruntled flock

  4. African American woman on said:

    DMP, this is exactly what is a large part of the problem with denial. No one on here has said that all black people are criminals. However, too many are. Stereotypes are not all true but are born from pieces of truth. I notice that you do as many victim minded black people do; as soon as you are presented with how we as a people are destroying ourselves and our communities, you start running stats on white people like there’s some kind of childhood ranking game going on. The three men you are referring to were killed in 3 different situations, each precipitating their own confrontation with the police. The police are here to protect and serve, not play mommy and daddy to some wayward young man. The truth is that we need to focus on better parenting, education, hard work, solidarity and entrepreneurship if we want to get anywhere. This blaming the white man for everything and playing victim is old and tired.

  5. Not all black people in Ferguson were committing a crime and looting. There is ignorance in all races stop saying it just black people committing crimes. All races commit horrible crimes. They don’t get shot they get studied. There has been more than one shooting of innocent blacks they don;t have to physically come out and protest but show some support for those in Ohio, and New York a man died over selling some loose squares did he deserve to die no. Did the 12 year old deserve to die last time I checked that is what prison is for criminals not shoot first and ask questions later as always is the case. And last time I checked more blacks have been arrested for crimes they didn’t commit then any other race. And driving a nice car or truck while black is a crime I have been accused and almost shot for on more than one occasion. I was driving in the wrong neighborhood not playing loud music or driving crazy so stop saying that many blacks are hardened criminals that is a stereotype that we don’t need. John Wayne Gacy, Richard Speck, Jeffrey Dahmer, Hitler, the KKK all murderous monsters who got studied and not shot while being arrested.

  6. So your trying to tell these black celebs, CEOs, business owners, that BECAUSE they are BLACK that they are required to back your protests against the cops and whites in general, you guys must have a different version of free speech because if they don’t agree with your protest, or possibly even more they don’t believe in your tactics, they have the right to not say anything! And I’m hoping that the way your forcing a response from them that they come out publically state they don’t agree with your protest and the tactics used! Not everyone in the black communities agree with this protest!

  7. SMH…. FACTS AND FALLACIES….. If I was some Black artist why would I put my career on the line if I did not believe in this nonsense. Black people can only play the race card so much longer before they have to look at the real facts. Race has nothing to do with it, and the people of Ferguson need to get over it, and let Michael Brown be at piece. Destroying things in the city will get you nowhere but placed into a worse situation than before.

  8. Paul with common sense on said:

    the problem isnt police officers. It is black society as a whole. You are the minority of the population commiting the majority of violent crime. Get your shit together. Statistics dont lie! At Michael Brown’s parents, WHERE WERE YOU?! Why was he living with his grandmother?? If he was such a good kid, why was he robbing a store and assaulting someone?! This website sucks! All it is is a bunch of black racists! If white people were out to get you, WHY THE HELL DID WE ELECT A BLACK PRESIDENT!??

  9. Hilarious!! Maybe it’s because the black entertainers have a brain and can figure out there is no reason to protest. Brown was a thug POS who got shot for assaulting a police officer and trying to take his gun!! Good riddance POS Michael Brown!!

  10. demp109 on said:

    These activists need a plan. Folks in Ferguson need to vote. When people see that the people of Ferguson are serious about change, they will be supported. Ferguson needs to do the work.

  11. Gaynor Henry on said:

    FREEDOM FIGHTERS? Freedom to do what exactly? Act like thgs, take what they want and generally behave badly? Nobody seems to remember that Michael Brown had just finished stealing from a store owner (and this wasn’t his first crime), here’s a newsflash – how about not having a criminal record? How about NOT getting arrested for anything? Millions of people manage to do it for their whole lives! And when something happens you don’t like please explain why looting black stores and stealing shoes, clothes, etc., helps the situation? Or do you just figure that’s what you’re owed? Black celebrities. Why the he** should they get involved in your mess?

  12. Here’s a new idea…How about we start obeying the law ! How about we not try to disarm a police officer while punching him in the face ! Why would anyone of any color in their right mind support conduct like this from anyone ?… Happy Holidays !

  13. Steve S on said:

    Perhaps because they actually don’t support thugs who fight the police or share the communities adoration for criminality. To bad these activists don’t get active with education and discipline in schools or proper parenting. (Also to my fellow white people. Stop with the stupid racist comments as it makes you and I look stupid. You can get a point across without the garbage and it labels all of us much like you do all black people)

  14. Regular Guy on said:

    The areas they live in are what THEY make/have made of it. The education systems in these “areas” is what the community make/have made of it. Everything that the black community complains about is what they make or have made of it over time. There is no magic group suppressing blacks, no hidden “white” agenda, there is only what the black community has made for themselves. I feel no pity or sympathy for them and like most Americans I am tired of what they have created and continue to perpetuate with their blind, racist ways. Wake up Americans, our country is at a turning point and if we allow it to be driven by ignorance, then we all need to be prepared for the worst.

    • I hope the negative comments are not coming from African American people. If it is we are doomed as a race. Some of you people need to take an ethics class to learn about the disparities that Blacks and Hispanics face. Dont let white people tell you that nothing is wrong becuase there is a lot that is wrong. There is a such thing as institutionalized racism and that is controlled by people who are in charge in this country, CEO’s government, etc. That is the racism that we need to stop. Take an ethics class it will teach you all about it. I’m surprised you cant see that on you own but i guess some of us just cant see well. Michael Brown did not deserve to die that day and for the black people that think he did God help you.

      • nomads425 on said:

        Ron, quite frankly speaking racism is not a subject taught or learned in a classroom…life lessons are both learned and taught in daily life. I’m white and have struggled for many years without resorting to breaking the law…that’s the difference. Everyone is judged by their own actions (.) If I were committing a crime I would be treated no different and never was… their were no marches or protests supporting my wrong doings…individuals categorize people as one or unfortunately as a group…its been that way since the beginning of time. Man up and be the best you can be as an individual… stop coping out in favor of law breakers… stop making ones color an excuse for unlawful behavior…then maybe then you will see change, positive change not owed to anyone walking this planet…Happy Holidays!

  15. Bob Coups on said:

    Black celebs haven’t come to the cause perhaps because they are busy “working” – have someone Google it for you. Or maybe it’s because they don’t agree with your idiotic claims and demands. have you tried Bill Cosby ?

  16. I wonder if these activists ever gave thought that maybe black celebrities aren’t on board because maybe they don’t share the views as those that protest. I wonder to what level they would have stooped to if Rolling Stone had denied them an interview.

  17. These rappers don’t give a damn about y’all, they’ve got money now, got out of the ghetto and never looked back. And no one made anyone buy the shoes, the music, the clothes, the videos, none of that crap was forced on anyone. The black celebrities aren’t bleeding you dry, you guys are bleeding yourselves dry. Literally and figuratively.

  18. Corrupt-o-crats on said:

    What are these activists talking about ???

    Remember the Basketball players, and the Football players entering the court/field with their hands up ?? They’ve even worn T-shirts with “hands up don’t shoot” on it…

    Even some Black lawmakers and aides have held their hands up.

    Well the “hands up don’t shoot” was/is a lie !!!! Mike Brown DID NOT have his hands up !! He was attacking a cop, and strong-arming and stealing from a store owner. He was not shot in the back. He was a neighborhood knucklehead who had no respect for others.

    Again why are you memorializing a Hood Rat ????

  19. Hate to tell them but the educated successful blacks have left the ghetto and will not return. They are too white now according to this mob mentality thug parasites.

  20. Activists? You’re kidding right. These aren’t activists, they are criminals — managing to break more laws that Mikey “Lil Angel” did. Destruction of public and private property, mob action, interfering with traffic–those are crimes not the behavior of activists. I can’t think of one upstanding Black entertainer or public figure who’d want to be caught dead supporting this group of criminals–except some freakin’ gangster rapper out on parole.

  21. J.Clancy on said:

    BRUTALLY GUNNED DOWN!!…WHAT A JOKE OF A WRITER, COLUMNIST YOU ARE!! Look at the FACTS, Evidence, Testimony for the Truth. Quit Clouding your your own Judgement by Racist Comments such as you spew. Get a Real job and earn some Respect!

  22. If you want whites to respect you, stop the knockout game, stop massacring yourselves, stop burning stores, stop dealing drugs, stop walking around with your underwear showing, stop treating women like shit, stop leaving school, talk and act like reasonable human beings, and stop blaming everyone else for the shit you did to yourselves. LOOK IN THE MIRROR. IT IS YOUR FAULT.

    • straightnochaser on said:

      And who exactly dies and left you a monopoly on granting approval? This is the problem with white supremacy. You’re so figgin’ paranoid and insecure that you’ve actually deluded yourselves into thinking that everyone wants and needs your approval, and all the while you’re out here falling all over yourselves and freaking out because you KNOW that the ‘power’ you have was taken and not earned, therefore, you’re seeing that your karmic chickens are coming home to roost. Please go someplace and continue to ATTEMPT to convince yourself that everyone needs you and your approval.

  23. Evergreen on said:

    Seriously, I just read this article. And you’re worried about black celebrities and so forth to speak up with you?? Where are all of you when there are victims of black violence every day of the year? Where are you when young children are victims of drive by shootings? Where are you when young men need a hand up to see how important getting an education is? Where are you when a single mother who has children needs help? Where are you then?????? Nowhere to be found-but yet you plead to black celebrities to stand with you? You won’t even stand for your own community in times of need. Look in the mirror, that’s where the help starts. Not with race baiters, or outside agitators. It begins with you. You are slowly destroying your own community little by little. How pathetic is that?

  24. African American woman on said:

    Mac, you are absolutely right but many of the posters who only want to play victim will ignore that as black people, we are far more endangered being around our own in our own communities than by any cop or anyone else. Ignoring this fact and acting like the world came to an end when some criminal ( whom, of course, is tearing down their own communities) decides to fight with the cops makes us look like a race of laughable fools.

  25. Mac Ben on said:

    …maybe they realize that the protests (aka rioting and looting) in Ferguson are bullsh!t; black folks kill black folks ALL DAY long over Cadillacs, Jordan’s and gold and nobody says anything, except; “STOP SNITCHIN’!”

  26. on said:

    Jim the dummy strikes again ! This is not an inbred site people like Jim so please stick to the bass fishing sites dummy’s !

  27. Michael Brown and his family were/are criminals .His mom beat up her former mother in law who was selling T shirts in order to pay for Michael Browns funeral.MB mother never took care of him his grand mother did. BROWN’S mom got 12- 20 thugs to beat up T shirt merchants stole $1,500 cash plus $ 2,500 in The Shirts……Her Boyfriend is a well known criminal with a long long jail history. All great folk’s? ????

  28. Protecting a hoodlum bully like Michael Brown ??? The same thug who rubbed a store grabbed the owner by the throat and threatened to cause him extreme bodily harm? The same Bully who attacked Wilson? … The Same Bully who had a history of beating up old men rob them ..New Video has just emerged about this dead thug. ..

    • So you believe what the media says. Same media that said Brown punched Wilson repeatedly but he had no marks on his face. He looked the same when he did his interview months later. Where was Wilson gun on the dashboard or laying in his lap? Also who would get shot run and then turn around and charge the person that just shot you. It doesn’t add it. Yes Brown was 100% wrong for stealing and pushing the owner that we all know, but everything else is suspect.

      • African American woman on said:

        Oh no Jim. See these are the kind of people that will call the police when they are in danger, cry about crime in their neighborhoods and that the police doesn’t care about their communities but as soon as the cops do their jobs, those same people turn on them. Really , if those folks dont want the cops to do their jobs, hire a bunch of social workers to patrol your streets.

  29. African American woman on said:

    Please! So the he’ll what they didn’t participate. Black people are collective as a race, but we are individual people who have to make their own choices. I wouldn’t participate either. Not because I don’t care, but because I don’t want to be lumped in with the poor black victim mentality crowd. I hate how some black people think they have the right to be spokespeople for the entire race

    • Thank you for being so open minded…i am white,but color doesn’t matter,what matters is how you present yourself,this is 2014 there are opportunity’s for all of us,i DO NOT think that i am superior because i am white,i don’t hate anybody,if your a thug or hoodlum,no matter what color you are i don’t want you around me or my family,i have seen many successful people of color,from skilled labor
      to doctors,lawyers, engineers, all hard working people with common goals, work hard and take care of your family, there is plenty of white trash out there,but i believe a lot of the blacks problems can be fixed with a little hard work,for one thing quit looking down on yourself and quit thinking the white man is your enemy,and your a victim,find yourself people that will affect you positively in your life,quit listening to people like Sharpton,they make money off you when your down or how else would they make money,i know all blacks are not the same and some are embarrassed by the recent activity Involving NYC and Ferguson, but if Mike Brown was white and a black cop shot him i wouldn’t throw a fit,you sound like a true American .

      • Andrew you a great point! Preach!!!!!!!! Because a lot of people want to see color and blame color for all the downfalls in life. I am a black female, RN with my BSN, going for my Master’s. I am here because I studied and worked, not because of handouts. Funny I have encountered my fair share who think because I am black I am suppose to give them a free handout or letter of reference.

  30. That is why I do as David Banner mentioned support the people that support us. I will not purchase a cd, concert ticket, movie ticket or anything that has to do with a black celebrity that is afraid to open his or her mouth.

  31. Some athletes have taken a stand; however, I am disappointed that the Clergies, Pastors, and Bishops are not speaking out publicly about the injustices, inequalities, racism, and police brutalities happening in this country.

    I watch Joel Olsteen for example, and not once have I heard him preach on the above subjects! I guess these people do not want to “ruffle any feathers.”

    • straightnochaser on said:

      Considering that Joel Osteen never studied theology, nor attended school of divinity, and isn’t even an ordained minister, I’m not at all surprised by his not saying anything. These televangelists are about the money and trying to reach bigger crowds for their own glory. T.D. can stand and holler all day about living the best life possible, yet he has said nothing. They’re all afraid that of they speak up, they’ll have to suffer the wrath of the audiences who support them. and that would definitely affect their bottom line.

  32. Well, it’s about time young black men start to see black rappers as idiots that have sold out to the highest bidders in a music industry run mostly by non-blacks as purveyors of crap that have depicted black males as mysoginistic thugs, violent and devoid of any human emotion. The blow-back from the culture of rap, especially the gangsta rap, is now affecting the countless young black males that would defend rap and all of its thugged out lyrics to anyone that challenged that mess….rap and hop-hop have never been “black culture.” It’s part of our culture, but not all 400 years worth….I remember listening to Michael Eric Dyson trying years ago to defend rap and now all the young black males in this country that bought into that mess are feeling the effects of its propaganda and are also seeing that none of the rappers that made that crap like Jay Z, 50 Cent, Ice T and his “F” the Police song never gave two craps about them…they made the music for college white boys to buy and silly black boys to strive to live the life of a rapper. BTW…where is Ice-T to sing his infamous “F” The Police song to the protestors??? Where is Ludacris, Swiz Beats, TI and Snoop Dog?????? Rap and hip hop was a lie..that blacks bought into and look what that destructive part of our culture has done..see how people think of black men now in 2014….as threats..but that ghetto/gangsta message about black men was pushed, by black men, via hip hop and rap…The destruction of black culture..brought to you by..NWA and Dr. Dre…and where are they all now? Not worrying about Eric Garner, Tamir Rice or Mike Brown…sippin on their gin and juice..

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