What We Are Learning on #BlackoutTuesday
First and most importantly, please do not hashtag your black box posts with #BLM or #BlackLivesMatter. These posts are unintentionally blocking important Black Lives Matter info from reaching the public. Instead, please use #BlackoutTuesday and #theShowMustBePaused.
Blackout Tuesday was declared by the music industry as a whole (record labels, streaming services, radio stations) to be a day of disruption, to shake things up and make people take notice of why protests and riots are happening, and to open discussion of how we can keep history from continually repeating itself when it comes to racial violence and racism. Record labels vowed not to release any new music this week, Spotify has limited it's playlists, and radio station DJs have opted not to do their shows today. As you likely heard, I opted to do my show, why choose to not be on the air on a day when we are attempting to involve our listeners in hard conversations? Doesn't make any sense to me, so I threw out my regular programming and replaced it with opinions and information that I feel could make our listeners think, and even act.
I was sharing my favorite quote from the Beastie Boys, and believe me, I have quite a few. It's Ad-Rock's response to people who called him, MCA and Mike D hypocrites after they started to include positive lyrics about women, and speak about Buddhism in their music, specifically, the song 'Sure Shot.' In their documentary "Beastie Boys Story," Ad-Rock remembers telling reporters, "“Listening to the lyrics of this song, one might say that the Beastie Boy ‘Fight for Your Right to Party’ guy is a hypocrite. Well, maybe; but I’d rather be a hypocrite to you than a zombie forever.” Which, to me, is the perfect response to somebody who says to you, "I've heard you tell a racist joke before," or something of that nature.
#theshowmustbepaused was started by two black women, who work in the music industry, in hopes that influencers who typically ensure that the show goes on no matter what, would take time to pause 'the show' to reconnect with their communities and start difficult conversations. So that's all I am attempting to do. I'm not perfect, I don't know all the answers, but what I do know from experience, is that keeping your ears and eyes open and asking questions that help you understand another person's life is beneficial to everyone. When someone points out something you said that was blatantly ignorant, I recommend responding by explaining that you had no idea that your words were harmful, and then learning more about the subject so that you can speak more accurately about it. This method has worked for me when listeners call my ass out after saying some stupid shit on the air.
At the end of the day, it's easy to see, it's not one color versus another, one occupation versus another, we are all human, we are all trying to find solutions, we all want our families to feel safe and BE safe. Just treat others how you would want people to treat your mother, your kids, your partner, the Golden Rule is never wrong. I don't know, I'm not wise or any shit like that, but I know there's far too much sadness in our country right now, and it sucks.
What are YOU learning on this Blackout Tuesday?