Following an emotional week of riots, protests, and outrage after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police, musician Gary Clark Jr. shared a powerful video featuring his thoughts on racial tensions across the U.S.
Unrest is occurring around the globe following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd who was killed by police after a knee was pressed into his neck causing him to asphyxiate. Worldwide we have seen protests, riots, and public outcry occur as the Black Lives Matter movement continues strong.
Many musicians have similarly used their platforms to talk about what it’s like living with racism each day. Australia’s Baker Boy outlined his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, while SZA detailed moments where she’s been racially profiled.
Now, blues, rock, and soul fusion musician Gary Clark Jr. has shared a 10-minute clip simply titled Thoughts addressing the history of racism throughout the United States.
“I’ve been quiet a few days cause I don’t know what to say,” Clark began. “But, I’m tired. I don’t have any more words.”
Despite having the title track single from his 2018 album This Land highlighting racism and oppression across the history of the U.S., he noted that even though he “said everything” that he “needed to say,” more needs to be said.
“I expressed myself, did all kinds of press and ended up being that guy in the little box on whatever news program talking about this shit. I’m tired of crying on TV. I’m tired of being angry. Tired of being sad about it, tired of feeling depressed and anxious and fucked up, of feeling like every time I walk out of my goddamn house I could die today.”
Continuing on, Clark took a long moment of silence before detailing what his life is like, and the discrimination he has faced thus far.
“I’m a 6′ 4″ black man. I’m probably some of y’all’s worst nightmare,” he said. “I’ve seen you walk across the street at night when I’m standing outside of my hotel smoking. I’ve seen you clutch your shit on the subway.”
Check out Gary Clark Jr.’s Instagram post:
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Before going on a long list of a few people who have been killed in the face of racism, he stated “my intentions are good, my heart is good.”
“We just want to wake up in the mornin’, go and make the most out of what we can, get what we can for ourselves and for our families and go the fuck back home. That’s all. Why is it so hard? Why is that a worry and a challenge?”
Although he addresses that he doesn’t “have any answers” on how to solve the racism problem that occurs not only in the U.S. but world wide, he did plea that he needs us who aren’t profiled against to talk to people who could be racist, and explain what life is like for those of us who aren’t white.
“I need y’all to talk to y’all’s people,” he noted. “Like for real, talk to those people. What do you got to lose? You got to lose a relationship with somebody who’s got bad energy, whose mentality is twisted? You scared to lose that ’cause of a last name or some shit? What is it? Why don’t y’all stand up to those people?”
Delivering a final word, Clark stated that we need to recognise how we stand up for famed African Americans over the years like Jimi Hendricks, Stevie Wonder, and the likes, but need to pay attention to those who haven’t shone in the light of fame.
“Y’all praise them on their birthdays and on the days that they pass, but where are you standing up when we’re lying on the ground, we got knees in our necks? We got guns pointed at us unarmed; we got our hands up in the air and they shoot us dead. Y’all appreciate us when we’re high and mighty and superstars, but when we need help, you’ve got nothin’?”
“Represent for us, man. Otherwise you’re on that side. You got direct access to those people who are fucking it up for everybody. Talk to ’em. Don’t fuck up the dream for everybody ’cause you can’t say nothin.’ You don’t get to eat off of us and then leave us to die.”