- 30 May 20
It isn’t often that young rock ’n’ roll stars make political statements that cut to the core of the burning issue of the day – but Billie Eilish has done just that in response to the murder of George Floyd and the sickeningly inflammatory comments made by President Donald Trump
Billy Eilish has posted an impassioned statement on Instagram about the murder of George Floyd. It is a powerful and moving restatement of the principles of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The slogan of #blacklivesmatter does not mean that other lives don’t,” Eilish says. I’s calling attention to the fact that society clearly thinks that black lives don’t matter!!!!! And they fucking do. It means black. Lives. Fucking. Matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter.”
The statement is written in all caps, and there is a distinct absence of apostrophes suggesting that it was written in the white heat of needing to express something very urgently.
“I’ve been trying to take this week to figure out a way to address this delicately,” Billie Eilish opens. “ I have an enormous platform ands I try really hard to be respectful and take time to think through what I say and how I say it….. but holy fucking shit, I am just going to start talking.”
What follows first is a fine demolition of the response of people who respond to the Black Lives Matter theme by saying “All lives matter.”
“If I head one more white person say “All lives matter’ one more fucking time, I’m gonna lose my fucking mind. Will you shut the fuck uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup?”
By now, it is clear that she is on a roll.
“All you MFs do is find a way of making everything bout yourself,” Billie says. “This is not about you… You are not in need. You are not in danger…
“Your skin colour is giving you more privilege than you even realise…
“If all lives matter, why are people being killed just for being black? Why are immigrants persecuted? Why are white people given opportunities that people of other races aren’t? Why is it okay for white people to protest literally being basked to stay at home while carrying semi-automatic weapons. Why is is okay for black people to be called thugs for protesting the murder of innocent people? Do you know why?
“White. Fucking. Privilege.”
There is a powerful call to arms.
“Right now,” Billy Eilish says, “right in this moment, we have to address hundreds of years of oppression of black people.”
Coming from the young woman who may well be the biggest female star in popular music right now, it is a stirring statement of real power and hopefully persuasiveness.
The grotesque and utterly brutal murder of George Floyd has cause a huge amount of anger. It is like the ultimate expression of the way in which the system is stacked against African Americans.
The appalling response of man who is currently occupying the White House, the imposter of a president, Donald Trump, has made thing immeasurably worse. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he said in a tweet threatening people who are protesting in Minneapolis.
We may be in for a long, hot summer of discontent.