In a viral video clip, the rapper has distilled why this shutdown has proven so damaging for so many people.
For the last 24 days (and counting) the US Government has been in complete and total shutdown.
The blackout started on 22 December 2018 when President Donald Trump pushed the government into a standstill over the $5.7 billion (£4.4 billion) funding required to build Trump’s border wall. It has continued throughout the Christmas period and into the third week of January as negotiations stalled, leading to some unforeseen complications throughout America, from the pile up of trash in National Parks to postponement of immigration hearings for thousands of people, including some who are in the US seeking asylum.
Federal employees, in particular, have keenly felt the government shutdown, with more than 800,000 left without their first pay cheque in January. Though Trump has signed a bill promising back pay, these funds would not be paid to employees until after the government re-opens. All this despite the fact that many employees have been working through the shutdown, without pay.
It’s this question of pay that rapper Cardi B has taken offence with an impassioned video posted on her Instagram. Speaking directly to camera, the chart-topping artist said that though she doesn’t feel like an expert on the subject, she feels moved to speak out because of the “really f**king serious” situation that the government finds it in.
“I know a lot of y’all don’t care cos y’all dont work for the government, or y’all don’t even have a job, but this sh*t is really f**king serious,” Cardi B said. “This sh*t is crazy. Our country is in a hell hole right now, all for a f**king wall.”
“And we really need to take this serious,” she added. “I feel like we need to take some action. I don’t know what type of action, ‘cos this is not what I do, but I’m scared. And I feel bad for these b*tches that got to go to f**king work to not get motherf**king paid.”
She also added that although there have been government shutdowns in the past, they have been for logical and important reasons, like Obama’s 2013 standoff in the name of universal healthcare. “Yeah b*tch!” Cardi B said. “For health care, so your grandma could check her blood pressure.”
Cardi B’s words have struck a chord on social media, with the video immediately going viral and trending on Twitter. “Cardi B gets it,” David Rothkopf, a professor of international relations, wrote on Twitter. George Takei added that he wanted to see the rapper give the State of the Union address. “How is Cardi B responding to the government shutdown better than our President,” another fan wrote on Twitter. “I’m at a loss for words.”
Others took this chance to urge the rapper to form an exploratory committee and run for President in the 2020 elections. “Someone nominated you for President and everyone agreed this works,” a fan tweeted at Cardi B.
Could Cardi B run for President? In this political era, it’s not inconceivable.
And the rapper from the Bronx has more than proven her political mettle, both in this video and in interviews. Speaking to GQ in 2018, Cardi B revealed that she is a huge fan of “political science” and American civics history and that she can name every single American president in order of term.
“I love government. I’m obsessed with presidents. I’m obsessed to know how the system works,” Cardi B told GQ. Her favorite president is Franklin D. Roosevelt. (“He helped us get over the Depression, all while he was in a wheelchair. Like, this man was suffering from polio at the time of his presidency, and yet all he was worried about was trying to make America great - make America great again for real.”)
Cardi B 2020? You heard it on Twitter first.