Yesterday, three-time Grammy award-winning musician Chance The Rapper gave back to his hometown in a major way.
The rapper, also known as “Lil Chano from 79th” held a press conference at Westcott Elementary School on Chicago’s South Side, where he announced he was donating $1 million to help support art and enrichment programs at the city’s schools.
Whether you rock with Chance’s music or not, there’s no denying that buddy did a phenomenal thing.
“As you guys know, Friday I met with Gov. Bruce Rauner to urge him to do his job and honor his original commitment to provide $250 million to CPS, so our kids can finish the year strong. Gov. Rauner can use his executive power to give Chicago’s children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn,” Chance explained during the press conference. “The governor gave me a lot of vague answers in our meeting and has since called me over the weekend. Our talks were unsuccessful. Gov. Rauner still won’t commit to giving Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.”
Many took to social media to praise the “No Problem” lyricist for his actions, but like everything, there was a sprinkle of hate, doubt and skepticism about Chance’s motives. The below Facebook post spells out what folks have been saying since the grand announcement:
Who in their right mind would find fault with what Chance The Rapper did? Then there’s this guy.
Not to mention the Obamas somehow being dragged into this, because the nation’s first African-American presidential family is always being blamed for every damn thing…
And finally, confusion.
I’m usually not one to give negativity any kind of publicity, but I must shed light on just how damaging those who always find fault in something are. To quickly throw shade on a brother who is practicing what he preaches—even more than our elected officials—is just plain whack as hell.
Chance’s very moving display of generosity inadvertently revealed a big problem with society: our propensity to find fault in even the greatest of things. No one seemed to be concerned about Chance until he started to evolve and actually become more than an aspiring rapper from Chicago. It’s as if the universe said, “Yo Chance, you are becoming super dope. Let me throw these hatin’ ass people your way.” It’s quite ridiculous actually, but unfortunately to be expected.
See, it’s just easier to focus on what’s wrong than to actually work towards solutions. In doing so, you avoid taking a look at your own life, how jacked up it may actually be and the fact that you most likely are doing very little to change the conditions of society. Not to mention the fear of failure that most folks who spend time looking at the glass half empty usually have. Anyone who spends time criticizing someone who is doing good in the world, especially someone who has no record of being foul, can’t truly be interested in making a difference.
I get the fact that more needs to be done, but how does questioning the motives of a man who grew up in the city, reps Chicago all day, seeks to meet with elected officials and request better educational funding for residents—that he does not know or have any obligation to —help the cause? Who cares where he got the money from? Are you donating to CPS? What about your church tithes? I’ll wait.
Chance is not simply talking about making a difference like most folks on Facebook and Twitter. He isn’t simply posting a link to an article, or pausing at his concerts to talk about how unfortunate the violence epidemic is in Chicago. Lil Chano from 79th can most likely be seen walking down the street—my guess is 79th—and doing what he said he would. So unless you can say that you’ve truly attempted to make a difference for your city, do us all a favor and remain silent.
As for you Chance, keep shining my brotha. The only folks who hate on someone who is a man or woman of their word is someone who is not.
Shantell E. Jamison is a digital editor for EBONY. She moderates various events centered on love, relationships, politics and wellness and has appeared on panels throughout the country. Her book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction” is available now. Keep up with Shantell via her website, Facebook, Twitter @Shantell_em and Instagram @Shantell_em.