Watch Riz Ahmed’s Impassioned Spoken Word Performance About Islamophobia on Fallon
Actor-slash-rapper Riz Ahmed was a guest on last night’s Tonight Show, where he performed a stirring rendition of a spoken-word poem entitled “Sour Times.” He introduced the poem by saying that he wrote it ten years ago, “but it seems to become more and more relevant, sadly,” with every passing year. “Sour Times” takes the horrors of the George W. Bush era as its specific subject matter–Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, 9/11–and features a mention of Donald Trump that was presumably swapped in for the 43rd president’s name at some point recently. But the poem’s denunciation of Islamophobia, and its admirably empathetic attempt to understand terrorists of all creeds, indeed make it equally potent today. “There ain’t no supervillain planning these attacks from some base,” Ahmed intones near the beginning. “The truth is so much scarier and harder to face: there’s thousands of angry young men that are lost.” Watch it below.