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‘I Want Justice for George Floyd’s Family’

Written by on October 15, 2020


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Paul McCartney posted a statement of support for protests for racial justice on Friday. “We all need to work together to overcome racism in any form,” he wrote. “We need to learn more, listen more, talk more, educate ourselves and, above all, take action.”

He also added links to Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, the NAACP, Stand Up to Racism, Campaign Zero, and Community Justice Exchange.

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McCartney then recounted a concert the Beatles were booked to play at Jacksonville’s Gator Bowl in 1964, and how when they learned that it would be a segregated audience they refused to play. “We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now,” John Lennon said at the time. “I’d sooner lose our appearance money.” The concert ended up being the first nonsegregated audience there. After that, the Beatles incorporated a clause in their contracts guaranteeing audiences would not be segregated.

Related Video: Paul McCartney: Human, Humble and Still Having Fun

McCartney explained the band’s stance in a 1966 interview. “We weren’t into prejudice,” he said. “We were always keen on mixed-race audiences. With that being our attitude, shared by all the group, we never wanted to play South Africa or any places where blacks would be separated. It wasn’t out of any goody-goody thing; we just thought, ‘Why should you separate black people from white? That’s stupid, isn’t it?’” And two years after that, he penned “Blackbird” as a tribute to the Civil Rights movement.

“I feel sick and angry that here we are almost 60 years later and the world is in shock at the horrific scenes of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of police racism, along with the countless others that came before,” McCartney added in his post. “I want justice for George Floyd’s family, I want justice for all those who have died and suffered. Saying nothing is not an option.”

Read Paul McCartney’s full statement:

As we continue to see the protests and demonstrations across the world, I know many of us want to know just what we can be doing to help. None of us have all the answers and there is no quick fix but we need change. We all need to work together to overcome racism in any form. We need to learn more, listen more, talk more, educate ourselves and, above all, take action.

In 1964, the Beatles were due to play Jacksonville in the US and we found out that it was going to be to a segregated audience. It felt wrong. We said, ‘We’re not doing that!’ And the concert we did do was to their first non-segregated audience. We then made sure this was in our contract. To us it seemed like common sense.

I feel sick and angry that here we are almost 60 years later, and the world is in shock at the horrific scenes of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of police racism, along with the countless others that came before.

All of us here support and stand alongside all those who are protesting and raising their voices at this time. I want justice for George Floyd’s family, I want justice for all those who have died and suffered. Saying nothing is not an option.

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