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David Banner, John Legend Address Ferguson Violence Around Mike Brown Shooting

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By Courtney E. Smith

The world was watching as protesters and police clashed in Ferguson, Mo., last night.

But before the fourth night of unrest fell in the city, Mississippi rapper David Banner appeared on CNN the previous evening (Aug. 12) to talk about raising black children in America.

Related: Watch Jeezy Honor the Memory of Mike Brown in St. Louis Concert

Banner was tapped because of a conversation on Twitter he had with his fans (“On Sundays, I always dialog with my fans,” he explained on CNN. “I always push my fans to think.”) previously, spurred by the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson that day.

Banner presented to his audience, in a series of tweets, the idea that black people don’t have value to Americans and figures of authority like the police because they don’t value themselves. A selection of those tweets are below, but you can read his full thoughts on his Twitter timeline.

He also posted a video from April of himself talking about the killing of Trayvon Martin, in which he makes reference to his song “Swag” and its still-salient lyrics about the public reaction to police officers killing black Americans. “What happens when a white cop kills a black kid? / We’ll send a few tweets that’s it,” he raps. “…As soon as it’s not a trending topic no more then we move on to the next situation.”

John Legend also took to Twitter to express his outrage at the events in Ferguson last night, in real time. Like everyone following the story on social media and watching it on TV, he offered up his impressions on what he was seeing. Again, below is a sampling of his tweets.

CBS Washington D.C. reports that President Obama was briefed last night and will be briefed again today on the situation in Ferguson.

The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, tweeted last night that he was canceling his schedule for the day to go to Ferguson and that his day began in session with faith and community leaders. In his tweets last night he asked for calm and urged “law enforcement to respect rights of residents & press” while saying, “[the s]ituation in Ferguson does not represent who we are.”

He added: “As Governor, I’m committed to ensuring pain of last weekend’s tragedy does not continue to be compounded by this ongoing crisis.”

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