Thursday, July 14, 2016
ITP V.016 SOCIAL JUSTICE: ROBB FLYNN (MACHINE HEAD) and JESSE LEACH (KILLSWITCH ENGAGE) COMMENT ON #BLACKLIVESMATTER and U.S.SOCIAL UNREST
ROBB FLYNN of California thrash/metal warriors MACHINE HEAD and JESSE LEACH of Massachusetts metal core warriors KILLSWITCH ENGAGE have commented on #BLACKLIVESMATTER and social unrest in the U.S.A.
Last weekend, protests erupted in St. Paul, Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana after DIAMOND REYNOLDS live FACEBOOK video feed went viral when her boyfriend PHILANDO CASTILE was shot by police after being pulled over for a broken taillight late last month in Minnesota. CASTILE stated he was licensed to carry and was shot four times by cops when he reached into his wallet for his identification.
DIAMOND REYNOLDS filmed the incident (PHILANDO CASTILE) via her smart phone and fed the live video via FACEBOOK.
ITP V.016 EDITORS NOTE:
CHEERS TO PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN BACHMAN, great photos of the BATON ROUGE protest.
ACLU-MN condemns the excessive charges brought against protesters arrested at the I-94 protest. "People engaged in non-violent acts of civil disobedience should not have to fear spending up to a year in jail. We would urge the City of St. Paul to drop all charges against the non-violent protesters." https://www.aclu-mn.org/…/aclu-condemns-excessive-charges-p…
BREAKING: We’re suing the Baton Rouge Police Department for using excessive force and violating the First Amendment rights of demonstrators who were protesting peacefully against the killing of Alton Sterling. https://www.aclu.org/…/police-baton-rouge-dont-it-when-prot…
FROM ROBB FLYNN (MACHINE HEAD):
THE GENERAL JOURNALS: DIARY OF A FRONTMAN… AND OTHER RAMBLINGS
Did you see the recent article about the white police officer that supports #blacklivesmatter?
"I’m a White Cop and I Support Black Lives Matter" http://www.vice.com/read/white-cop-black-lives-matter
Did you see the video of the black police officer who had harsh words for her fellow police officers?
"Black Officer Has Powerful Message For Racist Cops" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/nakia-jones-video-alton-ste…
Did you see the former-cop calling his former-police brothers “murderers’”?
"Former Cop: 'These Shooters Aren’t My Brothers In Arms, They’re Murderers'”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRIIKTLB_Tw
And did you see the 15 NYPD police officers who came forward to speak with shocking openness about corruption in their system, at the expense of losing their jobs?
"NYC Cops Come Forward & Speak On Injustice, Admit To Corruption In The System.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQG2izX_Wyc
Of course you didn’t…
Are you going to watch even one of these videos…?
Probably not, and I can see how many clicks they get…
But if it’s anything like the Facebook videos we post where analytics show something like 90% of don’t even get through the first “3 seconds”… I can pretty much guess the answer.
No one cares, we’re all too apathetic.
Or fearful of the internet backlash.
Or fearful of the real backlash.
I’ve contemplated putting this up for 24 hours, because the last time I put up anything on racism, my wife and kids got death threats on our home phone.
That’s how real this is.
That’s how fucked up shit is right now.
That’s how tense things are right now.
There is a poisonous mantra being repeated endlessly that #alllivesmatter, that black-on-black crime happens more than cops kill black people (and yes, the same holds true that most white people are killed by white people).
Black-on-black crime… white-on-white crime…
We kill where we nest.
It’s that simple.
But police killing black people who are posing no threat has GOT TO STOP.
And even the police are fed with up it.
In fact, prior to the lone-wolf gunman attack, (who was killed by a robot, which brings up even scary accountability issues) the entirely peaceful Dallas protest probably has the most shining example of police standing WITH #blacklivesmatter protesters, and hundreds of eye-witness accounts back that up.
Yet if you watched the news, it’s a nauseating stream of info-tainment about “violence at protests”, and #blacklivesmatter = anti-police, rhetoric.
Did you hear the barely-covered news about the Orlando shooter being gay? His male-lover came forth and “outted him” and how they frequented the Pulse nightclub regularly. In the following weeks, the FBI has since disconnected him from any terrorist organization, especially since in his 911 call he pledged allegiance to Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, AND ISIS, 3 organizations that are de facto at war with each other. It would kinda be like saying "I fucking love the Oakland Raiders, the Denver Broncos, AND the Pittsburgh Steelers!
People are livid. People are frustrated. People are angry. And this is what humans do when they feel that way. They protest! And it is perfectly legal to do. In fact, this very country was founded it on it.
First Amendment: "The right to join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly".
And they should protest.
We’ve been left out. This is way bigger than black and white. This is about the have’s and the have-not’s. This is about Big Money having too much of a say in Congress. This is about the game being rigged against us. This is about a country that has a staggering level of income inequality, no safety net, and an extremely profitable privatized prison system full of people with addictions rather than full of real criminals. This about CEO’s of corporations paying themselves bonuses that exceed the entire pay scale of the company work-force. This is about production jobs being sent to Mexico or Asia so that we can continue to get our WalMart prices, and replacing those jobs, not with immigrants, no, no, no... it’s not the immigrants that are taking away jobs, it’s COMPUTERS!! Ever see those “self-check-out" lines? That used to be a person. Hell, lots of jobs have been replaced by fucking APPS!!
But you never hear that coming out of the politicians mouths.
Because you can’t "build a wall" against computers can you?
Look, my father was a baker at the Merritt Bakery by Lake Merritt in Oakland and later at Safeway until he retired. My family never had a lot of money. I’m not rich now; I’m never going to be rich.
I accept that.
Of course like all of you, I like money, because I've got bills to pay, kids to feed, costly public school, sports, and hell, I like to have a damn good time! Shit ain’t cheap in 2016. My wife’s 2007 car is paid-for, and our 2001 wakeboarding boat too, my 2013 Durango is not. We owned a house at one point, sold it and moved into a better house, then had to Short-Sale that when the economy crashed. I’ve rented since 2010.
In 2014 our landlord evicted us the month before I started the Bloodstone & Diamonds tour cycle, and chaotically, we (or really, my wife and amazing family / friends) had to move us while I was on tour. I flew back from tour to sign the rental paperwork.
When I turn on the TV, or look at my social feeds it's an endless stream of the wealthy showing off in front of me, and I often sit and think how fun that must be, then I think "what am I doing wrong that I didn’t end up that way?”. Well, I am in a band for one, arguably the stupidest business structure, and quite often the least profitable business to ever be in.
But it’s not that... watching all that somehow makes me feel inadequate. And while some folks are “faking it, to make it, (we should always project success right?), that’s also part of the problem.
Because it’s just not possible for everyone to be successful.
And us placing rich people on a pedestal constantly, does no good for anyone. It says, ”if you don’t like rich people, then you won’t be successful yourself.” It’s jealousy, it’s sour grapes.
No, it’s fucking reality.
The fact is, it’s hard everywhere.
We’re all struggling.
And the sobering, painful fact is, were not all going to be rich. The door has been closed. And I’m not talking band-guy-rich, that ain’t shit!! I’m talking Tech-titan rich. I’m talking CEO-rich. A type of rich that no one in the music business (outside of the good doctor, Andre Young) will ever know.
I drove through East Oakland not that long ago, it went: liquor store, gun store, church… liquor store, gun store, church… for blocks... and blocks… and blocks.
The rich and powerful have gone to great lengths to keep the money in their pockets. They’ve gone to great lengths to keep money out of, not just our pockets, but our schools, our parks, our roads, our hospitals, our water supplies, our small businesses, and our incredibly under-staffed/over-stressed police forces.
And the rich get to write off taxes on things we can’t (like the “fine art loophole"), if they even have to pay taxes at all.
This is not about whose life matters more, it’s about people feeling equal, even semi-equal. There’s a lot of good cops out there, and while I’ll always love the 1988 N.W.A. tune, “Fuck The Police”, it just doesn’t apply in 2016. Police have found a way to not shoot armed white men even when they wave a gun at them, they can find a way to not shoot black men.
Props to a very, very small handful metal musicians who have chosen to voice/tweet an opinion on this. My respect goes out to Corey Taylor and Mark Morton both of whom have had engaging online conversations with fans about this complicated and frightening moment in history.
Because we’re all in this together… and if you ask me... this picture (taken before the tragic Dallas shooting spree happened) pretty much says it all:
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FROM JESSE LEACH (KILLSWITCH ENGAGE):
Knowing full well the insurmountable ridicule and abuse I may receive from this post (by those polarized in one direction or the other) I can not stay silent anymore. I realize my thoughts, concerns and observations may mean nothing to you. If that is the case simply stop reading. For those reading on, thank you and back to your regular unscheduled program of social media to resume in a minute or two.
- I can't just take a "side" or allow a hashtag to define my grief (we all have our ways to mourn with respect). I have been contemplating and mourning the current state of the world and this country for days now. I still find it hard to find the words, but I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror tomorrow if I didn't attempt to formulate my thoughts and speak my mind and heart.
I mourn the murder of any human! The fact that we as a people use death as a political platform or an agenda is despicable. The denying of deep rooted inequality is also equally despicable! How can we foster progress and actual equality when no one is willing to listen to each other? We must be willing to be considerate and walk in one another's shoes to find understanding. I don't see much of that sadly, just division and disregard for one another.
What a sad, troubled and shockingly ignorant state of affairs we are caught in these days. The division between us as a people grows daily due tragic events paired alongside calculated disinformation and false flag or "wagging the dog" (look up these terms if you are not familiar and then examine certain current events that change over time). There is much outside of our history books and news reports to learn from. These days we are swallowing blindly what they feed us. Instead of uniting to stand against a common enemy (the ones in power that manipulate justice and care not for the common people). Instead we are divided against each other! While we bicker and fight over hashtags and who's killing who, the clandestine dismantling of this country and the world economy continues unchecked.
Racism (among many other warped and conditioned hateful thinking) is alive and well people! It is being arrogantly displayed by many on both "sides" of the current issues. Yet we are distracted by social status, fantasy games and vanity glued to our phones like zombies. We swallow manufactured media as click bait conspiracies to occupy our minds. We have been warned for decades about these times from literature, to movies and songs. Yet here we are in the midst of yet another crucial downfall and all we are doing is infighting and pointing fingers at each other. When in fact the blame lies upon those in high "authority." Those very few at the top who oversee the passing and amending of laws, the controlling of wealth and the distribution of power ARE the divisors and dictators of the system.
We have been conditionally dumbed down, divided and controlled. This is "idiocracy" in full effect, but the vast majority can't see it! We have been indoctrinated and brain washed so cleverly, patiently and precisely that the vast majority are completely unaware of the state of emergency. We lash out against one another in fear and anger. Anyone trying to make a change and speak out is violently and or verbally struck down by an opposing view. It's ether that or threatened, ridiculed or simply... silenced in death.
How many more of "US" will die before we realize the truth has been disguised?
How long do we allow those in control to manipulate us, humiliate us, steal from us and kill us like pawns in their game of power? There has got to be a better way. There has got to be a radical change. Sadly I fear the worst as it seems most are too far gone, trapped in the "matrix" as it were.
The only thing I can offer is my personal action. My lyrics in my music, my choices, the companies I support or boycott with money. The effort I will put forth to be understanding, compassionate and yes, loving when I have the strength. My faith is, that there is enough good with us all to begin to heal and help one another (even in small simple ways).
For those of you who believe in God I urge you to pray. For those of you who gather in protest and activism do so in peace. For those of you in uniform show honor and control. For those of you who have compassion and charity to give, give it in abundance. We are facing troubling times and I feel it will only get worse before it improves. In the meantime pause and think before you speak or act and ask yourself "am I a part of the problem or a part of the solution." You can control and change the way you think and act.
Think about this, if only for a moment.
I am just a man trying to find understanding and do the best that I can to help in anyway. I will continue to strive to write lyrics and songs for ALL of us. I will strive to be an instrument of light and hope in this world of darkness (albeit a flawed, sarcastic, head case of an instrument)....but It's all I have and all I can offer at present.
I am heartbroken for us all but I won't give up on trying to make this world a better place one little tiny effort after another.
Be good to one another
With respect and sincerity
Peace, love, wisdom, strength and light to all!
Thanks-Stay Metal, Stay Brutal-\m/ -l-