In collaboration with Alicia Key and the We Are Here Movement, Mic.com have today released the above video in which celebrities including Beyoncé, Rihanna and Chris Rock list the ostensible reasons or ‘crimes’ that apparently warranted the murders of countless innocent black Americans at the hands of the police.
Keys is the first performer seen in the video, and lists “failing to signal a lane change” as one such reason, before an image of Sandra Bland fades into view. Bland, who died a year and one day ago today, was a 28-year-old woman who was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change. When she refused to leave her vehicle, Bland was dragged from her vehicle, threatened with a taser and arrested for assaulting the officer and incarcerated. Sixty-five hours later, she was found dead in her cell. The Huffington Post are today reporting that since that day, a further 810 people have lost their lives while in custody.
The late Philando Castile is the next name invoked by Beyoncé, who was shot by a police officer while reaching for his identification while riding in his girlfriend’s car with her daughter. Chris Rock, Pink, Janelle Monae, Common, A$AP Rocky and Bono are just a few of the other performers who lend their voices to these stories, which have become a distressingly microcosmic reflection of state sanctioned violence against black Americans like Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and Tamir Rice.
“In other words just for being black in America and doing absolutely nothing these everyday actions can be seen as not servile enough” concludes a joint message from Maxwell and Rihanna; Keys then reappears to demand from President Barack Obama and congress a “radical transformation to heal the long history of systemic racism so that all Americans have the equal right to live and to pursue happiness.”
Tile image: Courtesy of Mic