Last October, rapper Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson — known by his stage name “YG” — publicly shamed a 17-year-old boy who would not join in singing, “F*ck Donald Trump” at a concert. YG is best known for his song by that vulgar title, but the boy says he attended the concert for other artists and did not associate YG with the song. YG called the boy on stage and asked why he would not join in shouting “F*ck Donald Trump.” When the boy still refused to say it, YG booted him from the stage and from the concert, denouncing him as “racist as f*ck.” He did this on the night before the boy’s birthday, which he was celebrating by going to the concert.
On Friday night, Austin Joyner, the 17-year-old from the concert, posted a public statement explaining his position and forgiving the rapper for publicly shaming him.
“I was the 17 year old [YG] kicked off stage for not saying ‘F*** Trump’ Many platforms depicted this story inaccurately,” Joyner tweeted. “Here is the truth and I wrote a letter to YG. Please help me get my message out!”
I was the 17 year old @YG kicked off stage for not saying “F*** Trump”
Many platforms depicted this story inaccurately
Here is the truth and I wrote a letter to YG.
Please help me get my message out! pic.twitter.com/NTFVzikzpH
— Austin Joyner (@AustinJoyner20) January 11, 2020
In his statement, the boy set the record straight. “I did not attend a ‘YG concert.’ I went to the 2-day Mala Luna music festival held in San Antonio, TX on Oct 26 & 27, 2019. YG was just one of the many performers at the festival,” he explained. “I was not a YG fan. I didn’t even know who he was until my friends and I looked him up on Spotify just before he came on stage.”
While Joyner said he had “heard about the ‘F*ck Donald Trump’ song before in 2016 on the news,” he admitted he did not know who sang it.
“Many social media websites and supposed news outlets decided they had me all figured out, and without even trying to search for the facts, sites such as TMZ posted garbage about me and this story. Thank you to those who didn’t judge my character based on stories you saw on the internet,” he added.
“Yes, I know this has passed and people have moved on, but I’ve prayed about this for a while and have asked God for discernment and the right path to take to address this. I believe this note is the best way,” he explained.
Tragically, Joyner and his friends went to the concert to celebrate his 18th birthday (October 27). YG had him booted from the concert on the day before his birthday.
Video shows YG pressuring the boy to curse the president, and then immediately denouncing him as racist and getting security to remove him from the festival.
“I asked you if you f*ck with Donald Trump, you said you don’t know. So since you don’t know, I need you to make up your mind tonight. I need you to … state your name — because I know your momma, your daddy, your grandmomma, your grandfather is watching — I want you to state your name, and yell out, ‘F*ck Donald Trump,'” YG said.
When Joyner again refused, the rapper responded, “No, you won’t? Get his *ss out of here! Get him off the stage! F*ck that guy! He’s a Donald Trump supporter, get his *ss out of here! F*ck, don’t come to a mother*cking show with YG on the motherf*cking bill if you’re a Donald Trump supporter.”
“Don’t let his *ss back in the crowd!” YG continued. “Tell him YG said so. Donald Trump’s racist as hell, f*ck with black people, so if you f*ck with Donald Trump, you racist as f*ck and I can’t f*ck with you, period.
Rapper .@Yg says he doesn't mess with fans that support @realDonaldTrump and booed off a fan who came in stage and couldn't say F**CK Donald Trump @people @TMZ @News4SA @KABBFOX29 pic.twitter.com/KY0b3yEjbt
— Jamie Barrientos† (@realjamiebee) October 27, 2019
Joyner explained why YG singled him out in the crowd.
“I was not participating in singing the song. Most of the crowd had their middle fingers up and were chanting the song along with YG. All I did was stand there. I didn’t want to present myself in that way. At no time did I mention anything regarding politics at the festival,” he explained.
“As Americans, we have Freedom of Speech, and while I may not agree with YG’s hatred towards President Trump, as a citizen, he’s allowed to say what he wants. However, he crossed a line when he singled me out for not singing along and tried to humiliate me and get the entire [crowd] to turn against me in a threatening manner,” Joyner added.
The young man said he was “nervous” when YG called him out of the crowd. “I didn’t want to go up, and I made it clear, but he spoke to the crowd and told me to get up on stage — so I couldn’t just walk away or say no.”
Joyner said the Holy Spirit took over and gave him confidence on that stage.
“YG — you attempted to get me to curse someone publicly and to reveal my name to everyone. You may carry hatred in your heart for people like President Trump and me, but I don’t hate anyone, including you. You don’t know me at. all and you judged me completely wrong. I am a proud Christian, and I don’t talk about people that way,” the young man insisted.
This is not about politics, Joyner explained. “If the situation had been different, and you asked me to curse President Obama or Hillary Clinton, I still would never have done that because I know that their lives have value just like yours and mine. You didn’t respect the fact I said no, so you slandered me to the crowd and called me a racist.”
“Ironically, of the 3 friends who were celebrating my birthday with me, one is Hispanic, and the other two are Nigerian. Also, my mom is Mexican and my Dad is White. Clearly, I’m not a racist and never have been,” he added.
In addition to this statement, Joyner included a letter to YG. “You put aa target on my back that night and made it unsafe for me at the festival,” he wrote. “Thankfully, two security guards came up to me after you kicked me off stage. They advised me to leave because they determined it was too risky for me to stay there at that point.”
The young man told the rapper he prayed for him. “Your actions were so wrong, but can be forgiven. Jesus did not die on that cross for no reason. And because of that, I have kept you in many of my prayers.” Joyner said it took him a while to forgive the rapper, but he did so on January 4, 2020.
The young man went on to say that God is pursuing YG, and he said he believes the rapper “could even make the type of transition Kanye West has made.”
After Joyner posted his statement, Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann — no stranger to being demonized by the left for supporting Trump — praised the young man. “Well said. So much class. Way to be a bigger person,” Sandmann tweeted.
Well said. So much class. Way to be a bigger person.
— Nicholas Sandmann (@N1ckSandmann) January 11, 2020
Indeed, Austin Joyner’s statement — while perhaps a bit presumptuous — deserves tremendous praise. The young man set the record straight and demonstrated Christian compassion by forgiving a man who slandered him publicly and may have even endangered his life. He is an example of how Christians should stand up to ridicule: speaking the truth to counter it but also expressing forgiveness and prayer for their enemies.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.