Gary Clark Jr. shares speech: “We got our hands up in the air and they shoot us dead”
Gary Clark Jr. took to Instagram to speak about the murder of George Floyd by police, and the widespread racism and police brutality it's but a small example of, as Rolling Stone points out. With the caption "thoughts," Clark began his over nine-minute video by saying, "I’ve been quiet a few days because I don’t know what to say." He continued:
I’m tired of crying on TV. I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of being sad about it, tired of feeling depressed and anxious and fucked up. I feel like every time I walk out of my goddamn house, I could die today. I’m a six-foot-four black man. I’m probably some of y’all’s worst nightmare. If you didn’t know me, I’ve seen you walk across the street at night while I’m standing out front of my hotel smoking. I seen you clutch your shit on the subway.
My intentions are good, my heart is good — as George Floyd, as Breonna Taylor, as Ahmaud Arbery. We just want to wake up in the morning, go and make the most out of what we can, get what we can for ourselves and for our family and go the fuck back home. That’s all. Why’s it so hard? Why is that a worry and a challenge?
I know that some of you right now are sitting around and jamming to Jimi Hendrix or Kendrick Lamar and Robert Johnson. Stevie Wonder. And to those of you too especially, musicians out here, you know who you are, man. Calling yourselves blues guys and R&B singers and shit. Playing Freddie King throughout your whole fucking set. Albert King lyrics all night long. B.B. King. Talking “Robert Johnson was the greatest!” and shit. Y’all praise them on their birthdays and the days that they passed.
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 got nothing?
"This made me so uncomfortable," Brandi Carlile wrote in the comments. "And I’m really grateful for it." Watch the full speech below.
Meanwhile, Gary is scheduled to appear on Let's Stay in Together, a virtual benefit to support Harlem's historic Apollo Theater. Dionne Warwick, Doug E. Fresh, Teddy Riley, Kool & the Gang, DJ D-NICE, Kirk Douglas of The Roots, Michael McDonald, Robert Randolph, Lil Buck and Jon Boogz, Infinity’s Song, Ray Chew, Warren Haynes, Celisse Henderson, Roy Wood Jr., Keb Mo, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, DJ Reborn, Ziggy Marley, Vernon Reid and special guests are also set to appear, and here's more about the event:
Music has the incredible power to connect, transform and heal. We hope you will support the Apollo Theater and join us for a special event featuring music that lifts our spirits, shapes our lives, and continues to unite us all.
In response to the pandemic and the cancellation of Apollo-produced live events through the month of June, the Apollo has established an emergency relief fund to financially stabilize the Theater and safeguard its future. In addition, a portion of the funds raised will be allocated for micro grants to support local merchants and small businesses in the 125th Street neighborhood impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally scheduled for tonight, June 2, it's now been rescheduled to Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 PM ET. Organizers write:
The Apollo Theater stands with #TheShowMustBePaused.
In observance of Black Out Tuesday and in solidarity with our artists, neighbors, and the global community, our benefit - Let’s Stay (IN) Together - has been rescheduled from June 2 to June 4.
This is only a pause, because the movement for racial justice doesn’t stop.
Neither do we.
As a commissioner, presenter and cultural convener, the Apollo remains committed to our mission of supporting Black art and culture, creating spaces for artists to express themselves freely, and advocating for the safety, dignity and justice for Black people worldwide.
We hope that after the pause you will join us on June 4,to take a stand for the culture.
Sustain Black institutions and support organizations that unapologetically use their platforms to further social justice.
Love Black People Like You Love Their Culture.