Like many content creators using YouTube’s multi-billion dollar platform, Houston rapper Willie D uses the website to speak out in matters of social justice.

On Wednesday, August 1, the artist and founding member of the rap group the Geto Boys, held a press conference, along with his attorney Vonnie Dones, calling YouTube out for unfairly terminating his account on Sunday, July 26. He believes the account was terminated because of his video in response to death threats levied at Maxine Waters in early July. The rapper told Fox 26 Houston he had a total of 1,700 videos, which have garnered over 71 million views, and none of them could be accessed.

His channel, Willie D Live, contains videos highlighting black excellence, informing on incidents of police violence and advocating against racism. 

"Let it be clear," Mr. Dones said during the press conference, "Mr. Dennis vehemently denies promoting violence against or inciting hatred against any individuals or groups based on race, religion, ethnic orgin, national orgin, gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, on his YouTube channel."

After his attorney got a chance to speak out against YouTube's decision to terminate the channel, Willie D spoke his peace, as well. 

"YouTube, like Google, prides themselves off of free speech. However, their practices are contrary to what their so-called mission statement is,” the “U Ain't No Ganksta” rapper said.

The company submitted a statement to the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday, July 31, explaining the reason behind banning the account:

“With the volume of videos on our platform, sometimes we make mistakes, and when this is brought to our attention, we reinstate the videos or channels." 

The Chronicle reports the channel has since been reinstated. 

During the press conference, the Texas native also called out Google, who owns YouTube, for the lack of melanin in its boardroom. 

With just 3 percent of Google’s workforce being black, he said, "Black content providers are at a high risk of being targeted by employees who don’t agree with our message."

Dennis closed the press conference by adding, "YouTube and Google, don't bite the hand that feeds you. Truth is not hate speech."

Watch the full press conference below:




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