Black music artists call on Biden to support police reform
BMAC Music in Action Awards honored The Weeknd, HER, President / CEO of Motown Ethiopia Habtemariam and civil rights lawyer Ben crump, among others. In the letter, Crump says, “We don’t want to hear that you can’t put this bill to the floor.”
BMAC added, âWe will not stop until justice can flourish in America. “
Signed by the co-founders / co-chairs of BMAC Caron Veazey and Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, âWith justice in our minds and hope in our hearts,â the letter ends with a statement from the Prophet: âMr. President, if Black Lives Matter, please prove it! Does black life only matter during an electoral cycle? You will be held accountable for the promises you have made to our community, to our country and to George Floyd’s daughter!
Read the BMAC letter in full below.
October 6, 2021
President Joe Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Re: George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
Dear President Biden:
The whole world watched. Was it 8 minutes and 46 seconds? Or the updated and unfathomable 9 minutes and 29 seconds? In the end, it doesn’t matter. The minutes it took to choke on George Floyd’s life changed the world forever. Indignant and horrified, people around the world took to the streets with focus, intention and a clear message: POLICE BRUTALITY AND POLICE KILLINGS MUST END.
While change was long overdue for years, it was the unequivocal video footage of George Floyd’s murder by police that ultimately led many Americans to demand real and meaningful changes to our law enforcement system. . It is imperative that our lawmakers implement the necessary protections to prevent further state-sanctioned black killings.
We are writing to you today on behalf of the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC). At our recent BMAC Music In Action Awards, we were fortunate enough to honor lawyer Ben Crump for his work in the fight for social and racial justice, especially for the families of those who have died at the hands of the police. We are compelled to pursue the next steps to create concrete changes to the laws governing police services in the United States.
In his recent Washington Post editorial, attorney Ben Crump expressed his support for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, explaining: which protects officers from most civil suits. This would promote accountability by finally creating a national police misconduct registry and allowing state prosecutors and the United States Department of Justice to investigate police “models and practices” in order to eliminate toxic police cultures and identify areas where chronically inadequate training and discipline create a threat to those under surveillance. As lawyer Crump said in his BMAC Agent of Change award acceptance speech: âWe don’t want to hear that you can’t take this bill to the prosecution because George Floyd deserves this bill. be submitted to the United States Prosecutor’s Office. Senate, and to have a vote, because we voted for you to stand up when it’s time to stand up!
We and our fellow music industry advocates feel a responsibility to speak out in the face of inevitable problems like police violence. We cannot just sit idly by and conduct business as usual when blacks across the country are unfairly executed by those who have sworn to protect American communities. The North American Songwriters (SONA) said, âThe George Floyd Police Justice Act provides President Biden and our lawmakers with an opportunity to effect significant and historic change. SONA co-founder and board member Dina LaPolt was a BMAC Agent of Change award winner at this year’s inaugural BMAC Music in Action Awards, along with attorney Ben Crump. She has spent her entire life fighting tirelessly for racial justice and has been instrumental in engaging the rest of our industry in legislative matters both within and outside the music industry. In Dina’s recent acceptance speech, she spoke about the unacceptable prevalence of systemic racism that still exists in the United States, promising, “I will never let go of the gas pedal.” As an organization, we echo his sentiments: We will not stop until justice can flourish in America. “
The American people have spent over a year relentlessly protesting, educating and encouraging their lawmakers to act. We will continue to write to our representatives, and we will continue to protest in the streets, but unfortunately there is not much we can do; We need the full support of our leaders in Congress to ensure that our goals for a better America do not just remain goals, but that our goals are actually met and carried through. Whether they make the senseless murder of our people a partisan issue or just don’t care, many of our elected politicians have chosen to stand on the wrong side of history.
Given the endless headlines about our brothers and sisters who lost their lives at the hands of American police officers, we hope you will do whatever it takes to support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, starting with ensuring that that it be taken to the Senate Prosecutor’s Office for a vote.
âI will never forget to be seated in St. Louis Chapel for the funeral of our brother, George Floyd. BMAC co-founder and board member Shawn Holiday and I were overcome with emotion and frustration. I watched you, the presidential candidate at the time, as your face appeared on the screens, and you made a promise to the black community, to the family of George Floyd and to America. You told George Floyd’s daughter that her father was going to change the world. Now that we have elected you President of the United States, I have waited impatiently and seen several executive orders being signed. But are we still waiting for the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act? Sir, if Black Lives Matter, please prove it! Does black life only matter during an electoral cycle? You will be held accountable for the promises you have made to our community, to our country and to George Floyd’s daughter! -Willie “Prophet” Stiggers
How can you build back better and push for a bill that deals with America’s infrastructure, without addressing the cracks in America’s soul?
With justice in our minds and hope in our hearts,
Willie “Prophet” Stiggers
Co-founder / co-president
Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC)
Co-founder / co-president
Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC)
cc: Vice President Kamala Harris; Senator Cory Booker; Senator Tim Scott; Representative Karen Bass