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Metal Community react to George Floyd’s death and protests

Posted by on June 1, 2020

 

 

On Memorial Day (25th), the day the United States honor and mourn those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, tragedy struck. George Floyd’s life was taken away from him in Minneapolis, Minnesota by police over a counterfeit $20, as former officer Derek Chauvin placing his knee on Floyd’s neck as the world watched Floyd take his last breath due to the incident being caught on video. Chauvin has since been fired and arrested for third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. However, three other officers who were fired shortly after, are currently roaming free. America has had enough inequality, police brutality, and injustice in this country. People from around the world have joined together, risking their lives due to the COVID-19 outbreak to protest for justice. Unfortunately, outside instigators have been a huge distraction from the overall cause as rioters and looters continue to burn buildings, cars, and break into stores. Protesters have been crying out, expressing it’s supposed to be a peaceful demonstration as some have made progress with the police.

 

With everything that’s happening, members in the metal community have reacted to the death of George Floyd, protesters, as well as the riots:

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Quote from @berniceaking: “If you’re unbothered or mildly bothered by the 1st knee, but outraged by the 2nd, then, in my father’s words, you’re ‘more devoted to order than to justice.’ And more passionate about an anthem that supposedly symbolizes freedom than you are about a Black man’s freedom to live And you’re more caring concerning a flag than you are concerning a fellow human being. That’s inhumane, tragic and unjust. That’s dangerous for Black people and deadly for #GeorgeFloyd” – I know not everyone wants to hear this. I’ve been quiet the last few days, have fun stuff to share but just can’t right now. I know not everyone is a fan of “taking the knee,” a common critique being “How dare this guy who was paid x-amount of dollars for sitting out the season have the nerve,he’s not even that good a player, how dare he disrupt the game, not pay fealty to the flag” blah blah blah. Ok. I don’t follow sports closely. Maybe indeed this is a case of “right message/wrong messenger.” But if that’s the case, let me ask you this: Does an imperfect messenger give license to ignore the message? Honestly, I don’t see how we can. In 2 wks alone, we’ve watched 2 black men die on film. #GeorgeFloyd – who had the cops called for suspicion of a bad check (a bad check?!) – choked to death in plain view of witnesses.Also yesterday (same day): a revolting woman in my city makes a fake “damsel in distress” emergency call to NYPD, in mock tears..”An African-American man is threatening me!!” when simply asked to leash her dog (yes those ARE the rules in this particular area of the park). He (#ChristianCooper) has expressed regret over the scale of backlash against her but she’s undeserving of his decency after her dog & pony show (her dog, visibly abused, has been taken away, thankfully) & she’s earned all the resulting fallout, imo. This is all in the shadow of jogger #AhmaudArbery, gunned down by non-cops, which led to a cover-up by authorities. Not on film: EMT #BreonnaTaylor, shot dead by police raiding the WRONG HOUSE. This is all in JUST 2 WEEKS. No one is saying “all cops are bad,” or “all white people are bad.” Don’t twist words. All that’s being said is: THIS IS NOT OK

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“We’re Hurting” 5.29.2020 Richmond, VA. LET ME MAKE THIS VERY CLEAR: as a peace loving man who has seen & very regrettably been involved in violence myself in the past, I CANNOT CONDONE VIOLENCE- it only hurts us in the long run. BUT… I can UNDERSTAND it. Last night, I went out to document a protest in Richmond, VA, walking for a couple of hours with the people, shooting photos & trying to capture this moment in history- this is what I do as a photographer, in times good & bad. It was peaceful for the most part while I was there, but very shortly after I left, it kicked off & the rioting/violence started. There were a few cop cars & a city bus put to the torch, windows smashed (including small businesses, a few of which were black-owned- how does this help? It DOESN’T), & lots of spray paint. Tear gas/flash bangs were deployed. There were reports of gunshots (from the crowd, not the cops), but thank God no one died last night. And although I have had my problems with police before, I cannot just hate all cops- I know some good ones who do their best to serve & protect. But I also have NEVER had to worry that a cop might kill me because of the color of my skin. The violence you are seeing is the result of years & years of bottled up pain & fear, the only voice left when peaceful means don’t seem to be working. I texted a musician friend in LA last night who is a black man- I asked him how he & his family were. “We’re okay. We’re hurting. We’re angry. But we’re okay.” The two words that stood out the most to me: WE’RE HURTING. When people hurt bad enough, for long enough, they lash out. So instead of just being another voice screaming “Racism is bad!” I want to ask you ALL: please think about a time you were hurt & scared- how did you react? I know that I myself have reacted VERY BADLY before when I was hurt & scared. All I really wanted was for someone to HEAR ME, to LISTEN, to CARE, to try to UNDERSTAND ME, to RECOGNIZE MY PAIN. There are A LOT of people who are very hurt & scared right now, & they have had ENOUGH. Things have to CHANGE, or the violence will continue. I will be staying in tonight- if you are going out, please- be peaceful. My heart hurts… 😞

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“The Hidden City” Richmond, VA. 5.31.2020 Today I went out to shoot a protest & to listen. There was mostly talk of current events, of how people were sick & tired of being afraid for their lives. I shot & walked & listened to these people speak in the 17th Street Farmer’s Market, the former site of the second largest slave market in the USA- these men and women were standing on a podium speaking of equal rights & justice on the very same spot that slaves stood on the auctioneer’s block to be bought & sold as property. Then I walked a block to visit the site of the nearby Lumpkin’s Slave Jail, a place so brutal it was known as “The Devil’s Half-Acre” amongst slaves. Next to that is the spot where the slave Gabriel was hung at the gallows for his attempted rebellion in 1800- some of the stones from the gallows block he hung from were used to build the Broad St. bridge that passes over I95. Beside that I walked in the African Burial Ground, where the bones of slaves rest to this day in one big unmarked grave. So you see, my friends, there is a hidden city inside our city & you can see it if you but bother to look- it is everywhere. And the psychic legacy of that hidden city lives on in the pain of our black citizens who are so hurt & angry right now. The problems we are having today are NOT NEW. They are not just about one black man dying under a cop’s knee in Minnesota- THEY ARE 400 YEARS OLD. The Africans did NOT ask to be brought here- they were taken from their home by force. Their descendants are raised with that knowledge from birth, & still get treated as second-class citizens- how do we expect them to feel? I can trace my history back to the British Isles a very long way- most black Americans are lucky if they even have a record of a slave ancestor who was given their master’s name- they have no idea of their real, African family name. Their known history ends there- SLAVERY. Some people blow off this history by saying “Hey- I’ve never owned slaves- that was a long time ago.” True – but it’s utterly foolish to think that history does not shape today. So pay attention, people- listen to the hidden city & learn its lessons, so our city doesn’t burn today.

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at the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love ~ MLK

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Solidarity ✊🏼

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Recognition, validation, understanding. When someone is hurting you don’t always have to fully understand why to extend a compassionate hand and openness to helping them solve their problem. A kind gesture, motions toward solidarity, a true yearning for unity. It takes people of power, it takes people in positions of authority to help set an example of these things, to help perpetuate them in the rest of our society. It takes strong leadership, something lacking severely in this country at the moment. So what do we do? When we cannot look to others we must look within ourselves for how we might be the best that we can, the most loving that we can, to not only help heal ourselves, but one another. The fires of hurting people are burning all around us. Stroke the flames of change, not division and hatred. The only way out of the night is towards the dawn, towards change. The last few days should show you how much your voice matters. How much your opinion matters. Use it. Let’s change our culture, let’s change our leadership, let’s change ourselves for the better. Together.

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These are dark times for our species: the human race. I’m at a loss for what to say and I feel there are others who speak with far more wisdom than I do in this moment, so I’ll leave you with some lyrics I wrote a couple years back for our song, “The Race”. We need to respect, defend, protect, value, uplift, cherish and LOVE one another. I am deeply sorry for what is and has been going on for far too long and only wish to see peace for all moving forward, as utopian as that may be. Please be safe, my friends. Let’s educate ourselves and others, do better and spread the kind of compassion this world so terribly needs. . . #blacklivesmatter #justice #peace #weareone

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I was already upset watching #ahmausarbery being shot. Then watching the #georgefloyd video both gutted and enraged me to the point that it’s all I can think about. If you were unaffected by the video of the life leaving George’s face, there’s something wrong with you. After forty odd years of my life, I think things have actually gotten worse. If you don’t know, I am biracial. Growing up I experienced a great deal of racism. I watched my dad being racially profiled. Just two years ago I was racially profiled while on tour when two aggressive cops came to my hotel room because a front desk clerk told them a strange looking black woman with purple dreads seemed suspicious and must be a hooker. I don’t need sympathy for this…my point is that If someone that looks like me can be racially profiled so easily, imagine what black people go through on a daily basis and try to understand why there’s so much anger. It’s every dirty look, every “nigger” mumbled in their direction, every false accusation, every unwarranted pull over, all these videos of our brothers and sisters being murdered in cold blood building up to a boiling point. I heard someone say that these riots and protests are a public mourning. It gives me a little hope seeing so many different kinds of people mourning and protesting TOGETHER. THAT’S beautiful. The Looting on the other hand, makes me sick to my stomach. If you’re participating in that, you are an opportunist. A man died for that Louis Vuitton bag and those Nike shoes you just stole. You don’t give a shit about George. And maybe those big businesses can recover…but some small businesses that barely survived coronavirus definitely won’t survive being vandalized and looted now. Man, free stuff is cool but you know what’s cooler? Using this horrible incident to make an actual difference in your community. @miiabenante and I have been talking about this all week, and she asked me why these pissed off people can’t go to school to be lawyers or officers and make difference and I thought that was a pretty great idea 🙂 be safe. Love you all.

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❤️🤘🏻🤘🏼🤘🏽🤘🏾🤘🏿❤️

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