Black Lives Matter: Bruce Springsteen calls for new civil rights movement in America
The musician, speaking on SiriusXM yesterday (Wednesday, June 3) said: “we remain haunted, generation after generation, by our original sin of slavery” and the songs he broadcast during his two hour programme reflected his views on political protest and racial injustice.
He began the radio show with his own 41 Shots (American Skin), which he wrote about the death of Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo in a confrontation with the New York Police Department.
He said: “Eight minutes. That song is almost eight minutes long. That’s how long it took George Floyd to die with a Minneapolis officer’s knee buried into his neck. That’s a long time. That’s how long he begged for help and said he couldn’t breathe. The arresting officer’s response was nothing but silence and weight. Then he had no pulse. And still it went on…May he rest in peace.”
Springsteen also played recordings of Childish Gambino’s This Is America and three Bob Dylan tunes: Political World, Blinde Willie McTell and Murder Most Foul.
“We need systemic changes in our law enforcement departments and in the political will of our national citizenry to once again move forward to the kind of changes that will bring the ideals of the Civil Rights movement once again to life and into this moment,” the musician added.
“As we speak, 40 million people are unemployed. One-hundred-thousand plus citizens have died from COVID-19 with only the most tepid and unfeeling response from our White House. As of today, our black citizens continue to be killed unnecessarily by our police on the streets of America. And as of this broadcast, the country was on fire and in chaos.”
Protest have broken out across the globe with some turning violent.
Officer Derek Chauvin faces a charge of second degree murder following Floyd’s death on May 25.