Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda Opens Up About Experiencing Racism In America

Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda recently joined Rolling Stone magazine for an interview and revealed his thoughts about being subjected to racism in America.

On February 11, 1997, Mike Shinoda was born in Panorama City, Los Angeles, California, and raised in Agoura Hills. When he was six years old, his mother encouraged him to take classical piano lessons. After his interest in music grew, he wanted to shift toward jazz, hip hop, and blues by 13.

Shinoda’s father is Japanese-American. Moreover, he and his family were imprisoned in the Japanese internment camps 80 years ago by the U.S. government. As Japanese-Americans aren’t that visibly identifiable in society, Shinoda experienced racism in America.

Shinoda’s mother was the one who tried to ensure that her children knew of their Japanese heritage, so she wanted to get them accustomed to the Japanese culture. Growing up with tales about his family’s time in the internment camps, Shinoda was exposed to bullying and racism even by his schoolteachers.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Mike Shinoda said racism was a fact rather than a feeling, and he read racist slurs in the newspapers that the politicians also used. Moreover, Shinoda said he listened to black rappers and hip-hop artists and learned about the systematic racism and discrimination they were facing.

In the interview with Rolling Stone, Mike Shinoda said the following:

“Racism wasn’t a feeling, and it was a fact. There was no subtlety about racism. They had racist slurs in the newspapers. The politicians themselves were using the term.”

He then continued:

“I felt I learned something about racism and discrimination by listening. [I listened to] anything from Boogie Down Productions to NWA, Ice Cube. They were talking about things that weren’t on the news. That’s how I learned about the Black Panthers, Malcolm X, and the systemic racism they were facing.”

During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established Japanese internment camps and ordered people of Japanese descent to be put in isolated camps. When the war was over, Japanese-Americans migrated to different parts of California.