By Victor Ochieng
With the prevailing divisions in our society, it’s a challenge using some symbols or expressions without drawing the ire of a section of the society. That’s exactly what rapper Lecrae experienced after he posted a symbol for his “The Destination Tour.”
The symbol is of a clenched fist, a sign that has historically been used as a show of unity. Unfortunately, the Christian artist is facing huge backlash because the sign was also used by Black Panthers.
Alongside the symbol, Lecrae posted the following text: “A persistent symbol of resistance and unity, the clenched fist is a symbol of solidarity and support. It represent resistance to discrimination, injustice, and inequality. It is also used as a salute to express unity, strength, defiance, or resistance. The salute dates back to the ancient world as a symbol of resistance in the face of violence. (Contrary to misinformed people, it does not represent prejudice, terrorism, or racism).”
As a way to show that “The Destination Tour” welcomes everyone, the 36-year-old rapper made another post, saying, “Reception. You are received and accepted. Regardless of your past, views, lifestyle, politics, race, and beliefs. You are welcome. Grace is unmerited favor, you don’t earn it. It’s freely given. All are welcome all are accepted. Even you. See you there.”
He also made another post to clarify what the clenched fist means: “Hands of Release symbolize freedom from confinement, bondage, obligation, and pain. We release our past failures to succeed in what we have been created for. We let go and in our freedom seek the freedom of all humankind. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.”
“The Destination Tour” symbol was mainly criticized by Lecrae’s white fan base, specifically because of its relation to Black Panthers.
One Facebook user by the name Justin Murphy commented on the symbol, saying, “Looks like black panther fist. Not a good look Lecrae.”
Another user recommended that the rapper uses praying hands, noting that praying hands represent “our God. Which is more important than a fist. A nation of prayer United is the greatest stand of all and for all injustice.”
There were also some other users who expressed their support for the artist. One of them said: “He tells us historical facts behind the clenched fist and know it all critics, who really know nothing, have a rebuttal…”
From Lecrae’s reaction to his fans who criticized him, it’s apparent that he won’t be doing away with the symbol.
The rapper has gone ahead to brand his Facebook page using the symbol and has also made some merchandise for his tour using it.