Dave Matthews Band, Lorde, Lady Gaga and John Legend are among the artists to speak out against Saturday’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and criticize Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy by name.
Dave Matthews Band, which started in the Charlottesville music scene in the early Nineties, wrote they were “all disgusted by the acts of racist, hate-filled terrorism in our hometown this weekend.”
“Like so many our hearts are broken. Our thoughts go out to the families and victims of these unbelievable acts. This is not the Charlottesville we know and love,” the group continued. “This town has grown from its sometimes great but often difficult history and is marching toward an inclusive future. This murderous act and those who incited it are not what we aspire to be. We will work tirelessly, hand-in-hand with our community to help one another so we can all heal from this sickening display of horror. Hate speech disguised as free speech is cowardly and shameful. Such speech gives permission to the murderous crimes we witnessed today. There is nothing pure, acceptable, or philosophical about Nazism, or racism masked as heritage.”
Dave Matthews Band concluded in the post on their website, “The multicultural tapestry that is America must come together, acknowledge our very difficult but remarkable history. We must move away from the racist and ignorant elements of our past toward an inclusive, kinder, more intelligent future.”
In the aftermath of the horrific events in Charlottesville, where one woman was killed when a white nationalist rammed his vehicle into counter-protesters following the Unite the Right rally, Lorde tweeted, “I just want to say I’m so, so sorry. All white people are responsible for this system’s thrive and fall. We have to do better. I’m sorry. Being a privileged white non-US citizen, I feel like tweeting to reinforce how horrific POC treatment here is unnecessary & inappropriate.”
Other artists, like Lady Gaga and John Legend, condemned Trump for his failure to condemn hate groups following the Charlottesville rallies. In a speech following the incident, Trump blamed “many sides” and “bigotry,” but did not explicitly condemn the white supremacist groups.
“I pray a true leader will rise to expel hatred from America. This is not US! This is Anti-American,” Gaga tweeted. “I know we are not created to hate each other, but to help & love. [Trump] too afraid to do the right thing cuz you will lose votes? Doesn’t matter, younger generation has the answer to #BeKind.”
Legend wrote, “We have Nazi sympathizers and white nationalists in the White House. Condemn them too. They should not be receiving taxpayer money. In response to a tweet by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Legend called upon him to “impeach the white supremacist in the White House or STFU.”