by ari attack, editor
so, there was this concert planned in Indy – called “rock against racism.” the intent was to hold a concert to stop racism, and bring awareness. or to feel like they’re doing something important.
from the first announcement of the RAR show, there were concern for lack of diversity. according to sources, the creator, RJ Wall – who has quite a reputation in the city, was confronted multiple times about how problematic it seemed – but he pushed on anyways. like any other ignorant, white man who claims to not see color. so here we are closer to the date of the event, and it all blew up in the creators face.
after being called out online, by many credible activists on Facebook, RJ cancelled the show.
“In an effort to be more understanding and respectful of our true community activists, we have decided to cancel this year’s event,” he posted to the event online. “We’ve had some very educational and awakening conversations with the great community leaders in this city and hope to cultivate amazing things in 2018.”
for those who don’t know, rock against racism is a movement that started in the 70’s. HR, frontman of one of the first Black punk bands – Bad Brains, held this event in England. bringing white and black people together to unite for music and against the white supremacy. but black artists were not just founders, but an intregal part of the planning process.
to my knowledge, black artists were only an afterthought for this problematic music fest. I mean, you’re really going to rock against white hate in broad ripple park? why not Flanner House? or a historically black area?
many artists and activists spoke out against the bullshit – and thankfully their voices and energy shut this ignorant fest down.
“I know it was suggested that you use the event to support a local group, specifically a Black Lives Matter group, and you said you didn’t agree with everything BLM stands for – so you kept it as an ACLU fundraiser,” posted Tatjana Rebelle, local activist and poet.
why not invite or partner with BLM organizations like Indy10 Black Lives Matter or anti-hate group Don’t Sleep?
Satchuel Cole, Vice-President of Don’t Sleep posted, “White people should never ever lead the conversation about racism. People of color should be centered. People of color should have our voices uplifted. Otherwise you are continuing to uphold the white supremacy that is so rampant here.”
someone asked why I wouldn’t give them a chance, or just give them pointers for realizing their mistakes. and I won’t. because it’s 2017, and I refuse to give grown ass men a pass on not realizing their mistakes when it comes to racism. it’s a shame.
so who’s this benefit show actually benefitting?
hopefully the next time around, he realizes that you can’t have a anti-racism event and put black artists and rights on the back burner.