Bon Iver has joined forces with record labels to raise funds for the George Floyd memorial fund and other racial equality organisations in the US.
The musician used his platform to speak out against the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died on May 25 after being apprehended by a white police officer. Derek Chauvin has since been sacked and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Protests and riots have erupted in Minneapolis, Minnesota and in other large US cities including Atlanta, Georgia. People are calling for justice for Floyd and other black victims of police brutality as well as for an overhaul of institutional racism in the US.
Frontman Justin Vernon “and the Bon Iver family”, along with record labels Rhymesayers and the Secretly Group, have donated $30,000 (£24,000) “to organisations supporting those who need our help right now. These organisations are Minnesota Freedom Fund, George Floyd Memorial Fund, Reclaim The Block and Black Visions Collective.”
— Bon Iver (@boniver) May 29, 2020
“The hurt and rage in Minneapolis-Saint Paul right now are [sic] harrowing,” read part of a statement issued by Bon Iver via Twitter on Friday (May 29). “We are deeply concerned for the safety of the people in the streets protesting for justice. Their bravery is astounding and inspiring. A police state cannot fix what a police state has broken. Only equal freedom and protection of all citizens can begin to reset the scales of justice.”
It continued: “Fellow fans, artists, labels, please join us by making contributions of your own, whatever you can afford, to help make a difference in the communities most affected by the ongoing crisis in the Twin Cities, one that is also beginning to brew in other cities across America.”
In a lengthy post, the rapper wrote: “Nothing ever prepares you for how to feel when you’re constantly faced with the last dying breaths of black people, my people on your television or phone screens every single day. To be black in America is to be aware that I’m valued less by some of the people in this country.”