Macklemore called out George Zimmerman in his speech last night at the American Music Awards. The rapper was joined by Ryan Lewis as they accepted the AMA award for favorite rap/hip-hop album, but sparked controversy during his tribute to Trayvon Martin in the acceptance speech. Macklemore called Martin’s death an outright incident of racial profiling and indirectly took a swipe to Zimmerman in the process.
The rapper wasn’t in attendance for the awards show, but accepted his accolade during a live speech from Florida. “Due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it,” he said. “This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers and our fans, and it’s time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it.”
Of course, Macklemore isn’t the only rapper to publicly call out Zimmerman. Jay Z ranted against Martin’s shooter last July by referring to him as a “f—ing mall cop” and a “novice” who should have never been put in a position if authority. “You’re not a professional to profile someone,” he said. “A professional law enforcement officer is taught not to profile.”
He also opened about his reaction to the case, admitting last July that he didn’t sleep for two days after Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict was reached. “We all knew that there was still a bit of racism in America, but for it to be so blatant,” he said. “This guy went to get some Skittles and go back and watch the All-Star game. He had plans… he had no intention of robbing anyone’s home. [It’s] a reminder of we still got a long way to go.”