Missouri students protest ‘racist’ Jewish comedic rapper
In an open letter, the group of 16 students, many leaders from minority advocacy groups, complained they weren’t being listened to when they raised concerns about Lil Dicky’s nomination due to his alleged racism and sexism, according to Campus Reform.
“We must...hold the student body of this university more generally culpable for this terrible decision [to invite Lil Dicky],” the students wrote.
Talent for the campus WILD event is selected by Social Programming Board, a student union, and then issued as a survey for vote sent out to all undergraduate students at Washington University. Each semester students are charged $254 as an activity fee and part of that goes to fund WILD.
“It is disturbing that so many of our classmates - the people we study, work and live with - chose a known racist to represent them on the main stage of WILD,” wrote the students. “In making that decision, our fellow Wash U. students either did not consider the effects that their votes would have on their black friends and classmates, or worse, knew that their choice would offend us, and did not care.”
Lil Dicky’s work often mocks contemporary rock culture and attempts to be “relatable,” though some find his satire offensive and even racist, and accuse him of indulging in white privilege.
Lil Dicky, born David Andrew Burd, worked in advertising before branching out into comedy and acting. His first music video, ‘Ex-boyfriend,’ went viral in 2013.
Shane Rossi, a student, complained to Student Life that Dicky uses “sexist and misogynistic” references in his music, and Keona Kalu told the paper that the rapper appropriates black culture in his music and twists hip-hop culture for personal gain.
Seven students are staging an “Alternative Wild” event as a form of protest, promising that it will feature performances designed to make marginalized students feel comfortable.
“I think there can be a level of separation [between artists and what they produce],” Clayton Covington, one of the co-hosts of the alternative event, explained to Campus Reform. Adding that Dicky “puts himself in the situation as a white rapper in [a] predominately black art form.