on 25th May 2020 the world was shocked with the death of George Perry Floyd Jr. on 21st April former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder. That day was the day when the world came together and screamed and shouted that changes needed to be made in the USA, and the world.
After the verdict was announced, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday the conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd “can be a giant step forward” for the nation. But can it be a giant step forward or have we been here before?
President Biden called on Congress to act swiftly to address policing reform. But is that enough. Realistically no. More needs to be done in the name of George Perry Floyd Jr.
Celebrities and public figures have come forward to demand change. So, we decided to speak to B.T. The Artist, the one of the rising stars of the music world who uses music to make a difference.
This is what he had to say
1. B.T. The Artist, you use music to make a difference, so let’s talk about Black Lives Matter, and what music can do to make a difference. Would you like to see Artists to come together and record a charity single to promote BLM like singers did back in 1985 for We Are The World?
I think that would be a great idea. Many artists have touched on the topic individually, but a charity event with multiple artists, would be awesome. The combination of fan bases would get the message to a bigger group of people.
2. By 31st March 2021, 213 people have been killed by police, do you believe that police have learned nothing since the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020?
I do not believe the police didn’t learn anything. George Floyd was not the first man murdered by the police. Things need to change systemically because too many unarmed citizens are being killed. There needs to be more education on how to interact with people in society. There also needs to be punishment for when an officer breaks the law.
3. Singer-songwriter Halsey condemned those celebrities who have kept quit over the death of George Floyd, do you think she was right to call them out?
I do not think anyone should single anyone out for not responding to this topic. It’s an extremely rough thing to talk about especially bringing it upturns into a debate (Blue Lives Matter vs. Black Lives Matter). This a worldwide problem and some people may not relate or don’t know what to say in the situation.
4. Former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder, but do you believe this is just the beginning of changes that need making within the police forces in the USA?
I think the fact that Derek Chauvin was charged showed America is taking steps forward. We are indeed learning. But the whole situation was also highly televised, all over social media sites, motivated Marches and motivated gatherings. My question is, if it wasn’t the center of attention would he have slipped through the cracks. We will just have to wait and see if America actually learned from the past, with the actions that are taken in future cases.
5. What message do you believe with the number of shootings by police it gives young black children?
It shows them that there’s really no one out there to help you. There’s people around them trying to do anything to “survive” and police around them killing to “protect.” It’s a cycle that we need to find a remedy for.
6. There have been a lot of campaigns to support BLM, but what can artists do to make some noise and make changes?
There’s only so much an artist can do. We have to change the mind sets of Americans in America. Music spreads like wildfire, so we can get the word out, but it’s up to the individual to learn. That’s why I wrote Change, to get the message across.
7. Do you plan in bringing out music that can send a clear message that changes need making?
Yes. I always believe music is therapy, and America needs therapy. I love party music, dancing, and having fun but I also love writing music that leaves you in your thoughts.
8. If you could have a meeting with Joe Biden and talk about changes that needs to be made to make black people feel safer with regards to police, what would you say to him?
I cannot say anything to him that he doesn’t know. I wrote a song called Take A Walk With Me, where I express the fact that politicians are always talking about what needs to change in the urban community but are never in the urban community. So, I would tell him to come look at what goes on in these communities, and visually see what they need. Not just look at statistics on paper and make assumptions about what you think would make it better. Give the people more of a voice.
9. Can you see a time in our lifetime where racism in the police force will be banished forever?
Racism isn’t only in the police force. We need to get rid of racism itself. Racism is worldwide. The police are here to protect people, not kill them. Racism lies within person, person behind the badge. Police officers need to consistently be trained and be held accountable for their actions.
For more information on B.T. The Artist, please visit his official website. To view the music video for “Different”, please watch it on the hip-hop artist’s official YouTube page.