Rapper, actress and New Jersey native Queen Latifah made an appearance Friday on TODAY to promote the new animated film Ice Age: Collision Course (in which she voices Ellie) but ended up speaking eloquently and powerfully on a much more serious topic: the recent police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as well as the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas Thursday night by a sniper.
In the wake of this most recent wave of gun violence, Queen Latifah, whose birth name is Dana Elaine Owens, said, “It’s terrible, but we have to get real about it. If we get real about it, we can deal with it. But if we want to act like, ‘Oh no, that’s their problem,’ and ‘This only happens here.’ No, it’s happening to all of us.”
She went on to say, “I’m Queen Latifah, but I’m black wherever I go. I deal with the same experiences that other people deal with. I’m also the daughter of a cop, I’m also the sister of a cop, the cousin of a cop and the niece of cops. I don’t want the guns turned on police any more than I want the guns turned on us.”
“Every time these things happen, no one is really brought to justice at the end of the day. By the time it’s all said and done, the police officers usually walk. And what it does is leave us feeling empty, feeling hurt and feeling like we have no recompense and that it’s going to happen again,” she added, explaining that her police offer brother has also been the victim of harassment by other cops.
Watch the full segment in which Queen Latifah discussed both her career and current events: