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Heart & Soul Blog

It Takes A Village: Let’s Unite for #BlackLivesMatter #DontShoot

Alyson Campbell

Note: This was originally published on Medium.com.

I’m Alyson Campbell, and I’m speaking out — this is no time to sit idly by with the state of the current affairs. It is my duty as a citizen, a white citizen, who was fortunate enough to grow up in what would be considered a fairly privileged environment though I come from a humble, middle class family in the midwest to stand up and take action on what has now become a shooting crisis across America. Maybe it didn’t start with race, but that’s what the law enforcement in many countless cases is making this about — a race war. We already had this in our nation! Do we really need more of the same when we have already made progress? Can’t it be about continuing to take steps forward rather than back?

While even though I grew up in a small, mostly white town in the Midwest, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people of all ethnicities and backgrounds — we are all one, we are all the same. How can you think anyone is above you? We all come from the womb, born into this world and make a life. All of these African Americans, especially men, that are being targeted are about making a life; one was shot selling CDs, another shot while his baby girl was in the backseat reaching for his license he was asked for. When will the madness end?

One way I am taking a stand is through a collaboration with King Pharaoh Jackson who recently released a song called “Don’t Shoot” in light of the tragic police shootings happening across the country. The song has evolved into an important soundtrack to the new civil rights movement that resonates across the country and the world given the current state of affairs.

Because we need everyone rising up in our communities, King Pharaoh is working with today’s hottest hip hop and R&B artists including The Game, P. Diddy, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Fabolous, DJ Khaled, Yo Gotti, Wale, Swizz Beats, Curren$y, Problem. and TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank) on the “Don’t Shoot” song, inviting listeners to rise up for a much needed revolution in the justice system.

The Washington Post, which has compiled a database of every fatal shootingin the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since Jan. 1, 2015, based on news reports, public records, social media and other sources, the death toll is up to 509 people on record who have been shot and killed by police in 2016. (Additional database methodology details available here:https://github.com/washingtonpost/data-police-shootings).

“Don’t Shoot” lyrics proclaim “don’t let them shoot us cause we all we got, we all we got…God ain’t put us on the Earth to get murdered…don’t point your weapons at me,” as well as “grant us good in this world and good in the life, keep us safe from the torment of the fire, and scream for justice,” these artists are not holding back in taking a stand, using their musical talents and popular influence to invite all listeners around the world to rise up together for change — a revolution — to really see full scale impact.

Will you join me, white citizen, black citizen, whatever color you are, wherever you come from, to take a stand for justice? It is our time and there has never been a greater time in our generation and history than the PRESENT to take a stand and help make a difference, even if it’s a small change. As my former CMO would say, “It takes a village.” Be a part of the change, not the problem.

 

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