The 1975, Nile Rodgers, Niall Horan and More Sign Open Letter Condemning Racism in the Music Industry

Hundreds of UK artists, songwriters, producers and other important figures within the music industry, including The 1975, Lewis Capaldi, Niall Horan and Rita Ora  have united to sign an open letter to the music industry denouncing racism.

“We, representatives from the music industry, write to demonstrate and express our determination, that love, unity and friendship, not division and hatred, must and will always be our common cause,” the published letter begins. “Whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division. We are at our worst when we attack one another.”

The letter serves as a response to not only the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but also due to a series of anti-Semetic tweets and videos posted by popular British rapper Wiley. Non-British artists who have signed the open letter include Nile Rodgers, Richie Sambora, music exec Merck Mercuriadis and more.

Although symbolic gestures like the letter are empowering and allow artists to publicly voice their support of equality and their condemnation of racism, it is important to remember that these gestures are exactly that: symbolic. As fans, it is up to us to continue to hold not only hold large record labels and other companies that profit off of the talent of others accountable, but also to hold artists accountable for using their platform to actively push for equality. Having said that, the unification of hundreds of artists to outwardly condemn racism in all forms is certainly a step in the right direction.

Read the entire open letter below:

We, representatives from the music industry, write to demonstrate and express our determination, that love, unity and friendship, not division and hatred, must and will always be our common cause.

In recent months through a series of events and incidents, the anti-black racists and antisemites, plus those who advocate islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, have repeatedly demonstrated that they clearly want us all to fail. Whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division. We are at our worst when we attack one another.

Minorities from all backgrounds and faiths have struggled and suffered. From slavery to the Holocaust we have painful collective memories. All forms of racism have the same roots — ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating. We, the British music industry are proudly uniting to amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity. Silence is not an option.

There is a global love for music, irrespective of race, religion, sexuality and gender. Music brings joy and hope and connects us all. Through music, education and empathy we can find unity. We stand together, to educate and wipe out racism now and for our future generations.

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