Black Lives Matter

We Denounce Police Brutality and Systemic Racism

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
– Desmond Tutu

Silence is violence. We cannot stay silent. We at Boston Ska (dot) net are infuriated by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black people at the hands of the police.

Police brutality is nothing new, white America is just getting to see more of it thanks to the cameras with internet access that everyone has in their pockets. The police remain unchecked and unaccountable to anyone. It’s an institution, much like our country as a whole, steeped in white supremacy. While we should always be shocked and appalled by their behavior, we can no longer pretend to be surprised.

Shame on us for not saying it sooner: Black Lives Matter. 

We are fanatics of ska and reggae music. Black music. As we’ve said before, it’s unacceptable to love Black culture and not love Black people. Now is the time to stand up for Black people.

To our Black readers, we see you, and we’re grateful for what you contribute to the scene. Never hesitate to let us know what you’re up to.

To our white readers, there is plenty to do.

Vote. 45 is relying on folks staying home (or not mailing in their ballot). And, listen, we’re not psyched about Biden either, but as activist Linda Sarsour has said, think of it like choosing your enemy. We’re more likely to push Biden in a progressive direction than the current White House occupant. It’s also important that you vote in local elections. Everything from your local zoning board to district attorney has power over the lives of your neighbors.

Call and write elected officials. Put the pressure on politicians. Let them know how angry you are. 5calls is a great app/site with phone scripts.

Protest. If you’re able to. Yes, it’s complicated right now given COVID-19. And once you’re there, follow the instructions of the protest leader.

Sign petitions. It’s a great first step to raising your hand and participating. Sign for George, for Breonna, for Tony, and for Ahmaud.

Donate to bail funds. We have the Massachusetts Bail Fund, The National Bail Fund Network has a directory of funds by state, and ActBlue has set up a fund that splits donations to over 70 bail funds across America.

Support black businesses. Wealth redistribution is a key piece of dismantling white supremacy. Here’s a list of restaurants. My favorite Black-owned bookstore in Boston is shipping and takes orders online. Buy some vinyl from these stores. Get to Googling.

Speak up. Call in your friends. But be okay with getting it wrong. Just like anything else, it’s going to take practice. Stay humble and check your privilege. If you get called in, take the feedback, consider how you can improve, and press on.

Educate yourself. Read a book. Watch a movie (a selection of which are currently screening at the Coolidge Theater’s site.) But, please leave your Black friend(s) alone for a minute. You’ve got the internet.

Pay for Black art. Live music is on hold, but you can still pay for vinyl, digital, or whatever it is you collect. Tip if you watch a livestream.

We’re not off the hook and have been taking action, and will continue to take action. We (specifically, me, Jake, the managing editor and Alex, the other major contributor) have made donations to bail funds, show up to protests when we’re able, and contact elected officials regularly. We will continue to feature and prioritize Black acts and artists of color on this blog as well as list their live shows in our calendar when those resume. We will always be open to content tips and adding new writers to our roster.

We look forward to supporting movements to end police brutality, systemic racism, and white supremacy, while also supporting the scene and cultures we love so much.

Jacob Wake Up!

Jacob Wake Up! is managing editor of Boston Ska (dot) net. He's been going to ska shows since high school and never looked back. Jake lives in Roslindale and works in communications by day. You can see him perform with The New Limits or strike up conversation with him at a local ska show.

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