Like so many in our country, and around the world, my heart is heavy. But the pain I feel is nothing compared to the pain of others in this fight — people who have lost loved ones, been victimized, been unjustly profiled, or lived in fear because of who they are.
While searching for the 'new normal' in the midst of a global pandemic, we quickly learned that there's a lot more work to do to find a 'normal' that is right. When the news about George Floyd's wrongful death made its way through our feeds, we were swiftly reminded of the deep-rooted hurt that has existed for generations.
HATE is the virus we should fear.
I've spent the last few weeks asking myself, What about this truth can I own? And what about this truth can I change for the better? And here's what I know...
1. Racism, discrimination, and hatred run deep in our histories — collective and individual — and it is our responsibility to unlearn, undo, and understand the damage it causes to other human beings. First and foremost, this is a human problem, not a political one. It starts with us. 2. Unlearning thought processes, dismantling white privilege, and upholding personal accountability takes daily work. Hard work. It is not enough to post a public apology, or a public statement of allyship. The things we say and feel must be backed up with active change, both internally and externally. 3. People respond to calls of change differently — some with their words, some with their platform, some with their presence, some with their voice, some with their wallet, some with their resources, some with their hospitality... It is not my job to judge how others make change happen within themselves, and it is selfish of me to try and force others to see how I'm contributing to the solution. It is my job to do my part diligently, simply because it's right, and have faith that the work is taking place in the hearts and actions of others. 4. Inclusion is not about what makes us comfortable. It's about what makes others feel accepted, loved, and like they belong. Because they are, and because they do. 5. I must personally commit to not only avoiding biased thinking and behaviors, but also to actively putting thoughts and behaviors in place that I want to exhibit. I have to own my growth (even the ugly parts), apologize for my blind spots, and do the work to fix it. A change in my subconsciousness starts with a commitment to conscious action.
The music community is one of the most beautifully diverse entities on this planet, in my own personal experience. It's intangible, full of texture, and bursting at the seams with stories of all types. I have a new gratitude for it, and a new sense of protectiveness over it. We can't be reckless with each other...
With all these things in mind, as the sole voice of Noise Gate PR, I stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters during the fight for equality. Your stories matter deeply, and I will not be silent on this issue. I do not accept or tolerate hate, discrimination, or racism in my business, and I condemn the violence inflicted on the black community. I stand with you, as long as it takes.
To better myself and this company, I will commit to:
Educating myself and the Noise Gate team, should it grow in the future, about how to actively combat racism and inequality.
Looking truth in the eye no matter what — recognizing biases that exist in the music community — responding as a voice of advocacy, and working to dismantle systemic racism.
Actively reforming Noise Gate's artist support service to give attention to discrimination and bias in the industry, and to provide relevant resources and support.
Disassociating with those in the industry who participate in racist behavior or discourse.
Using my platform to promote and elevate black creatives in music.
Beginning a new journey is clumsy, but I've found the best way is to just start. So to start, I wanted to share a spoken word artist that a friend of mine shared with me. Art is one of the few things that is instinctual to share, and especially now, I'm thankful for those who are willing to share good work with me.
Rudy Francisco is a poet from San Diego whose work is "an amalgamation of social critique, introspection, honesty, and humor. He uses personal narratives to discuss the politics of race, class, gender and religion while simultaneously pinpointing and reinforcing the interconnected nature of human existence."
This is a performance of his poem, "Rifle," which can be found in his book,Helium. Take it in and follow Rudy onFacebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Soundcloud. If you know of an artist who should be elevated in the (noise)letter, please feel free to respond to this email and tell me more.
With all the love I have,
Be the first to know about exclusive offers and get bi-weekly insights/encouragement delivered right to your inbox!