‘I Can’t Be Indifferent to This’: Residente Speaks Up About Palestine

Lead Photo: Photo by Esteban Chacin.
Photo by Esteban Chacin.
Read more

Residente is speaking up about Palestine and calling others to do the same. On Dec. 12, the Puerto Rican icon posted a video talking to and educating his followers about the conflict in Gaza.

In a new Instagram video, he opened up about why he postponed his new music and videos that were supposed to be out this year. He said he doesn’t feel capable of releasing new music, considering what’s taking place in Palestine. “I don’t feel well. It hurts too much. I think about my son every day. I can’t be indifferent to this,” he said on the video. “And I ask myself, ‘When did we dehumanize ourselves to such a level that we could watch children’s heads explode in front of us and we don’t say anything? Why doesn’t everything stop like in the pandemic?’ Let everything stop so we can all focus on Gaza.”

In the video, he encouraged people to look for information about Palestine and to “denounce the genocide being committed by Israel with the support of the United States against the Palestinian civilians” instead of posting Instagram stories about their mundane activities. He also mentioned how he’s sad that nobody spoke out about the issues during the Latin Grammy Awards, held in November. 

“I understand that some people do not say anything because they do not understand the conflict. But tell me, what is it that you have to understand that is so complicated?” he questioned. “You don’t have to be a historian to put yourself in the place of every family massacred in Palestine.”

Residente also called for empathy and to think of others. He said that though he understands there’s misinformation, it’s our responsibility to educate ourselves. He used himself as an example, saying he was raised consuming media propaganda from the U.S. that taught him that all Palestinians were terrorists. He acknowledged the controversial lyric in “Atrévete-Te-Te,” “Que va explotar, como palestino.” He noted that he doesn’t rap that anymore and is embarrassed he ever wrote it. He said he educated himself about what was happening in Palestine, which led him to film the music video for “Multi_Viral” in Palestine to support its liberation.

He also called out for artists or every genre to talk about Gaza, just like they “cried” about a rapper’s list, and urged not to be afraid of being canceled for supporting Palestine, calling it “the right side of history.” He also refers to Gaza as “a concentration camp” because civilians haven’t committed any crime and can’t get out unless they have special permission from Israel.

At the end of his social media post, he encouraged people to follow photographers and journalists sacrificing their lives to report on the events, sharing their social media accounts, like Motaz Azaiza and Plestia Alaqad.

“We need everyone to unite and call for an immediate ceasefire,” he concluded. “Every child killed today in Gaza would be alive if they had stopped bombing yesterday.”