A new video from rapper Vic Mensa features white American children in cages for a controversial music video called “Camp America.”
Mensa, who fronts rap group 93PUNX, said that the song and video was inspired by Immigrations Custom and Enforcement and the crisis at the U.S. southern border.
What are the details?
Mensa and the group debuted the video Friday, which features white children wearing prison-like orange jumpsuits while inside a detention facility.
The children can also be seen in cages, playing, and resting underneath aluminum foil “blankets.”
A portion of the lyrics read:
We’ll be living it up, not giving a f***
Splitting you up, then we put you in cuffs
Then we shipping you off
Yeah, you could get lost at Camp America.
The controversial video concludes with a dire message to U.S. citizens.
The message reads, “There are over 13,000 immigrant children in U.S. custody today. What if it was your kid?”
Mensa told the Daily Beast in an interview published on Friday that he was specifically inspired by ICE Director Matthew Albence’s one-time remarks in which he apparently compared the detention centers to summer camps.
Last year, Albence said, “These individuals have access to 24/7 food and water. They have educational opportunities. They have recreational opportunities, both structured as well as unstructured. There’s basketball courts, there’s exercise classes, there’s soccer fields that we put in there. They have extensive medical, dental and mental health opportunities. In fact, many of these individuals, the first time they’ve ever seen a dentist, is when they’ve come to one of our (family residential) centers.”
Mensa said that Albence likening the detention centers to camps was a “crazy f***ing idea” and he planned to play off of those remarks with the video.
“The song’s lyrics were inspired by ICE Director Matthew Albence likening the immigration detention centers to summer camps,” Mensa explained. “I thought that was a crazy f***ing idea and wanted to create a world with this song that imagined that twisted alternate reality, where it was fun for kids to be held as prisoners, drinking out of toilets, away from their parents, and somehow enjoy it like one might at a summer camp.”
Mensa said that he specifically chose white children to feature in the video to add more resonance to the gravity of the problem at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“My intention for using white kids as opposed to minority children is to point out the blatantly obvious fact that this would never happen to white kids in this country or maybe anywhere on this earth,” he told the outlet. “Although the nature of the actions the kids were involved in were graphic or shocking, it was all taken from actual occurrences reported at ‘detention’ centers.”
Mensa said that no children were harmed in the filming of the video.
“All of the children’s parents were present and the children were really smart and understood the political statement being made—they wanted to be a part of it,” he added. “Nothing about this is about shaming white children; it’s about showing that this simply would never happen to white children.”
“The science has shown that early childhood trauma (like being ripped from your mother’s arms) has devastating effects on the development of a child,” he concluded. “That’s why I made the song.”
93PUNX, Vic Mensa – Camp America