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Philadelphia Rapper Meek Mill is incarcerated right now on a probation violation. People get locked up for violations all the time, even famous rappers. Meek’s situation is unique in that it appears he has been treated differently because of his fame; it seems some immoral people employed by the criminal justice system may want to make an example out of Meek.

Before game 1 of the Philadelphia 76ers’ first round Playoff series against the Miami Heat, a lot of Sixers shirts with #FreeMeek on the back popped up in the crowd.

I don’t know much about the criminal justice system; and I don’t want to need to learn much about it, ever. From the stories I’ve read and interviews I’ve watched, Meek Mill’s 2-to-4 year sentence is extremely harsh, given the seriousness (or lack thereof) of his violations, plus the fact that his original charge, the charge that put him into the system in the first place, is dubious (google Meek and read up on it if you wish). Given “normal” circumstances — such as him being Robert Williams (his government name) and not rap star Meek Mill — Meek would be a free man right now (albeit still on probation). I understand and agree that Meek Mill should be freed.

What disappoints me is that #FreeMeek has become the new Ice Bucket Challenge. Most of the people posting and yelling #FreeMeek don’t give a fuck about Robert Williams the person.

I’m from Philadelphia, and am only a few years older than Meek, but I don’t know the guy and have never met him. Like you and most people, the only thing I know about him is his music (I’m a fan). It’s really fucked up when a person — any person — is used and abused by the criminal justice system, and it’s great that Meek’s fame is shining a light on that abuse.

The problems:

Most of the #FreeMeek movement are sheep followers, merely riding the wave of whatever is the popular thing to say or do right now. As soon as Meek is free, 97% of the #FreeMeek crowd will move on to the next popular hashtag. They don’t care about prison reform, crooked cops or judges or any of what led to Meek being where he is.
The whole “this brings attention to how fucked up it is for everybody” line is accurate in theory, and an easy explanation for anyone for wanting to #FreeMeek. It makes a person appear to be aware of pertinent issues and down for the cause of helping the helpless. Ok then. What’s anyone going to do to further that cause, aside from posting hashtags? For most people, the answer is nothing.
If Meek Mill wasn't a rapper, or he announced from prism that he’d no longer make music after being released from prison, most of his “supporters” would forget about him.
Someone is going to get mad at me for saying anything negative about #FreeMeek, even though I support the reasons for the movement. Why would they get mad then? Because most people are sheep.
For Your Game
Be proactive about what you believe in. Speak up and make your voice heard. Just be real about those beliefs and stand on them all the time, not just when it’s popular or convenient. Because then you’d be fake.
Remember that, no matter how many fans you have, the number of people who really care about you — those who would care even if you didn’t do that thing that got you fans in the first place (rap, play ball, make xxx dollars) — is a short list. Never forget those people.
As I told you the other day, following is the thing to do these days. So, where’s the opportunity? In the opposite direction.

What do you think of the #FreeMeek movement? Agree or disagree with what I’ve said? Reply and share with me. 


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