The past few days in America (and around the world) have felt like years. Just last week, another act of police brutality came to light over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, who had 18 complaints filed against him over the last 19 years of his career. The outrage over this blatant example of brutality and racism felt sadly familiar, as we’ve continued to see black men and women die at the hands of white police officers. However, the response has been quite different. Protests have launched in every single state across America, including many protests in Europe and Asia. The peaceful protests have resulted in many outbreaks of violence from police—numerous examples of this are easy to find online—and are incredibly upsetting.
Advancements in technology as well as social media have drastically changed the way that injustices are brought to light. A video of Floyd’s nine-minute assault by Chauvin was uploaded onto the internet very soon after the story was implemented in our country’s nonstop news cycle, and citizens across the country erupted in protest just days after. Media conglomerates, major brands, influencers, celebrities, and your average Joe down the street have wondered how their voices should be amplified (or quieted to listen), during these times, which has definitely been a series of trial and errors for most people to determine the “correct” way to use their privilege.
While many of us are able to examine our years of privilege in the comfort of our own homes, many of us are unfortunately experiencing racism their entire lives. One individual in particular, Wyatt Waddell, decided to create a “protest anthem” of his own, after witnessing protests taking place over the last few days in Chicago. Created in just 24-hours, “FIGHT!” is a song inspired by a quote from Nina Simone. “An artist’s duty… is to reflect the times…”
The music video for “FIGHT!” features footage from protests and includes tributes to victims of police brutality and racial injustice, including Emmett Till, George Stinney, Rodney King, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmed Aubrey, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Laquan McDonald, and more.
“This song is me looking at what’s happening and what I’d tell the people protesting. I had to look outside of myself at what’s going on and how people are being affected,” he said.
“Hearing people’s fears, anxieties, and watching everything happening on TV really helped me write the song. I hope that it can be an anthem for my people as they’re fighting for a better America.”
“FIGHT!” is available to purchase on Bandcamp now. 100% of the proceeds of the song will be donated to the following organizations in Chicago:
Donating to other worthy causes, amplifying POC voices, and having uncomfortable conversations with members of your network are just a few ways to make a difference and to help end systemic racism that has been prevalent in our country for far too long.