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Bow Wow's Mixed Heritage Means He Can't Understand Civil Rights

The rapper Bow Wow faces scrutiny from Twitter users after implying that he can not relate to civil rights matters because he is of mixed race.
2015 American Music Awards - Red Carpet
Shad Gregory Moss attends the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.John Sciulli/AMA2015 / Getty Images

The rapper Shad "Bow Wow" Moss faces scrutiny from Twitter users after implying that he can't relate to civil rights matters because he is of mixed race.

It all began shortly after Bow Wow stepped into the political arena, expressing his frustration with the candidates for the upcoming presidential election and letting folks know, "I stay out of it. I don't do politics."

A user pointed out that the rapper should in fact care because his ancestors died to give him and black people nationwide the right to vote.

However, what that user, and perhaps no other person on the internet knew at the time, is that Bow Wow doesn’t feel as though his ancestors helped with such civil rights acts because his ancestors were neither fully black (as if there is such a thing), nor specifically in Selma.

Though Bow Wow made a slight mention that he honors the legacy of Selma and the activists that put their lives at risk for voting rights, he still ostracized himself because, as he put it, his “heritage [is] different." While someone asked, whether he felt that being half black meant he could not "relate to sacrifices black men made in the past for you," Bow Wow held firm, Tweeting back, "My background diff from yours. Trust."

Bow Wow's family life is perhaps from where his racial confusion derives.

He tweeted that he doesn't know the black side of his family very well. Even though he spent more time with his mom growing up, her side of the family is “weird” and that he’s never seen them much in his life.

Bow Wow explained that the Moss side of the family has Caucasian lineage. Though he and his father Alfonso Moss have had their differences publicly, he sees himself as a Moss. In his mind, this is a story about staying true to who his is--or at least part of him.

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“My Moss side of my family is white and native,” he Tweeted. “Been a Moss my whole life so I’m only sticking to my roots.”

In an attempt to cover for his disconnect, Bow Wow reiterated that his mother’s black side of the family has no relation to anyone in Selma, nor does he know his maternal grandmother.

Bow Wow has had a notably rocky past with his biological father. However, the rapper posted picture of his father on Instagram at the same time he was defending tweeted statements about not being able to identify fully with civil rights because he is not fully black.

Nowhere on Instagram did Bow Wow draw the connection from the Instagram photo to his statements on Twitter. But other users felt he shared the photo to reiterate that his dad is mixed. This post was met with comments of wrath like, with one person making the point, "To help you decide on whether or not you're black here's a history lesson, if was 1790 you would've been a slave, yo mama would've been a slave, and yo daddy would've been a slave. Wanna know why? Cuz your BLACK!! They wouldn't have cared how light skin you were."

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The internet flocked to remind people that Bow Wow’s parents, despite his dad's mixed lineage, present as black people.

Jumping to his own defense, Bow Wow said that people were simply being too sensitive since he was just “showing love to his native side.”

Despite his efforts to defuse the situation, the internet wasn’t letting him get off easy. Especially since he has been seen standing up for black issues in the past. Almost two years ago he stood with other rappers in support of Mike Brown at Chris Brown’s charity football game in California.

Overall, some were flabbergasted.

Some used petty humor to get over it.

Some were just confused by his interjection in the first place.

Some took the blame off his shoulders, casting shame on lack of education instead.

Though understandably many were left confused by this ordeal, Bow Wow did take time to clarify that despite his disappointment with politics, he would not be voting for Trump, even though he’s a big fan of his hotels.

He even underscored the value of the democratic process by creating an opportunity for his 3 million followers to vote on issues that matter to him.

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