Notes on News: Celebrities join anti-racism protests

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After George Floyd’s horrific killing by police officers of the Minneapolis Police Department as a result of systemic and institutional racism that has failed millions of people for centuries, protests against racial injustice have been rising throughout USA, UK and the rest of the world. A lot of celebrities including Machine Gun Kelly, Halsey, John Boyega, Kehlani, Ariana Grande, YungBlud, J. Cole, 6lack, Madison Beer, Tinashe, Emily Ratajkowski and Lauren Jauregui joined civilians and activists in the protests to show solidarity on the streets across USA.

Halsey has always been outspoken about social justice and she has continued to support ongoing protests, also acknowledging that she passes for a white person and is thus not susceptible to the same violence that other black people would be. She, alongside YungBlud, carried around a backpack full of medical supplies, treating demonstrators and urging medical professionals to join the protests to treat protestors who are a victim of police brutality even while they are protesting peacefully and just exercising their right to speech and assembly which she has witnessed first-hand. She was shot by rubber bullets, gassed and antagonized during these protests alongside a thousand others. She also praised YungBlud on Twitter for being a white ally and running exposed on the frontline to drag wounded people to safety.

Machine Gun Kelly, alongside others such as DubXX, Mod Sun and Travis Barker, has been marching alongside countless protesters for three consecutive days in L.A. carrying different signs which read, ‘Silence is betrayal’, ‘Prosecute Killer Cops’, ‘Stop Arresting Protestors! Arrest Killer Cops!!’ etc. He has also been actively posting on his different social media accounts and calling out white privilege throughout. It has also been shared by many of his fan accounts that he went to the protests without any security and didn’t make it about himself in the name of performative activism.

He also posted a video on his Instagram sharing his thoughts, ‘If you look like me and you have racism in your heart, and on your mind, and coming out your mouth, f*** you. I’m ashamed of you. If you enjoy my music or you like my movies, I don’t want you watching, I don’t want your business. F*** you. I don’t want nothing that’s a part of the evil agenda. That’s not what our generation’s legacy is gonna be. So, I’m drawing a line, and I’m asking the people step up and speak out for our fellow people going through all this hell right now and encourage good.  Let our kids grow up in a world where they’re not afraid to leave their f***ing house or their cars or be running down the street. Evil is running the show, man. Take it back from them. F*** these motherf***ers!’

In 1992, the song ‘Killing In The Name’ by the rock band Rage Against The Machine was released. It was written at a key moment when four LAPD officers beat a black motorist, Rodney King, and the world was enraged. 28 years later, sadly the situation remains the same. Machine Gun Kelly released a cover of the song to contribute to the #blacklivesmatter movement and call out white police officers abusing their position of power and killing black people.

You can watch the music video for Machine Gun Kelly’s ‘Killing In The Name’ cover below. If you would like to support Black Lives Matter, click here for a comprehensive list of petitions, donation links, and educational resources.

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