Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur talks to activist / artist Willie D about his issues with YouTube, which suggests racial bias.
(AllHipHop Features) Willie D was one of the most vocal, outspoken and influential rappers as 1/3 of the Geto Boys. In transition, the artist has taken to becoming a talking head under the brand Willie D Live, a channel that has garnered thousands and thousands of views on multiple platforms. Earlier this week, it had been apparent that the OG had hit a snag and was not going to be quiet about it. A press release said:
Members of the media are invited to join Willie D and team members as he gives a press conference to demand that Google and You Tube executives right the wrongful termination of Willie D Live, a channel hosted and maintained by Willie D. Willie D is demanding a sit down with Google and YouTube executives to right this wrongful termination of his channel, and the bias targeting of other black YouTube channels. This press conference will be held at the Project Row House (All Real Radio).
Willie D Live had been restored on YouTube before the press conference could occur. But, it ain’t over. On Monday, the press conference continued and the Houston native talked candidly about free speech, alleged racial bias and vague Community Guideline. AllHipHop talked briefly with the legend about the state of affairs, his mission and his plans for YouTube.
AllHipHop: Do you know why the Willie D Live channel was taken down?
Willie D: According to YouTube it was taken down for what they ambiguously described as a violation of Community Guidelines.
AllHipHop: For quite some time Black people have complained about platforms like Facebook for alleged discrimination like taking down posts and channels. Boyce Watkins, Black Lives Matter and others have been penalized repeatedly while other posts including explicitly racist content continues to live. Where do you feel you fit into this?
Willie D: I was dealing with the same thing on Facebook. After having my Facebook account suspended a number of times for so-called hate speech, to minimize my exposure to being banned forever, I switched to posting my videos featuring sociopolitical commentary to YouTube. Within a few months, YouTube started doing the same thing Facebook was doing – over policing its content providers and users in an attempt to control their message and the messages they received.
AllHipHop: What would you like to see happen?
Willie D: There has to be some scaled changes in the way YouTube levy strikes. Their Community Guidelines are erroneously vague, leaving them with too much latitude to decide what is appropriate and what is not. Under the current system anyone can false flag someone whose content they disagree with, and if you hate Trump like most people do, and your appeal lands on the computer of a Trump supporter, guess what? Your ass is grass. Additionally, Google who is the parent company of Youtube has a horrible workplace diversity record. Only 2.5% of their employees are Black and a measly 1.2% are Black females. Even when they do hire Black people they can’t retain them because the employees don’t stay long. What that tells me is they’re not being treated fairly. So that needs to change. There are other things I would like to see them improve on. My team and I will reveal those conditions at a later time.
AllHipHop: Do you think they restored the channel to avert bad press?
Willie D: I’m not sure the channel is restored, at least not to its pre-termination status. Some people are telling me they can see multiple videos while others say they only see one.
AllHipHop: Talk about your platform overall and what you aim to do?
Willie D: I started the Willie D Live channel as an alternative to Fox News, and other mainstream media outlets who oftentimes pander to the base to keep the money rolling in. Money is good but I’m more interested in the people. My focus is informing the people and exposing the dirty deeds of those in positions of authority who has a hard-on for violating the little guy, you know, the underprivileged, the under-served, the underrepresented, the underdog. Nobody owns me, I’m my own man. I say what I want, how I want, and when I want. That makes some people uncomfortable.
AllHipHop: Do you have any thing else to say on this matter?
Willie D: As a matter of fact I do. The truth is not hate speech.