Beer and Pavement

Black Lives Matter at Beer & Pavement

Posted in Activism, Intersections, Life by SM on June 29, 2020
Drawing by Ben Chlapek and I forget what the beer was. It was good. Pic is from my IG.

I couldn’t bring this blog back without at least addressing all of this [erratically motions in the general direction of everything]. Specifically, I’m talking about the current Black Lives Matter movement.

“Why would a blog about beer and indie rock write about race?” you might ask.

Let me reply.

I started blogging as a way to express myself. Now, I’ve veered here and there and back, but a constant part of that expression has been been my love and – shall I say – my need for music. It’s a somewhat niche obsession, but I love independent rock music. (I’ll address beer later.)

Any lover of rock n roll must at some point – willingly or begrudgingly – admit that rock music was appropriated by white people from Black culture. It’s fact. It can’t be denied. Some will try or simply ignore history, but most come around at some point.

I decided a long, long time ago that I was cool with this. I mean, it’s shitty that Elvis and every white dude after him have profited greatly from Black people, but isn’t that what white people do? We profit off the work of others, particularly Black people. We white people are the worst.

As I said, I was okay with rock music being Black music, not necessarily the stealing part. No one epitomized rock music for me more than Prince. For dudes 5-10 years older than I am, it’s Bowie, but for me, it’s Prince. Who could have heard “Little Red Corvette” or watched their first R-rated flick by the title Purple Rain and not want to be Prince or at the very least follow him to the ends of the earth?

In Prince, I found a performer that took on sexuality, race, the status quo… He was weird and he could play guitar like a mother fucker. I listen to primarily guitar-based music because of Prince.

I have not always been so well-versed or even comfortable with race and racism, but Prince opened me up to learn. Prince demonstrated that there was culture and perspective way beyond my nearly all-white hometown. Not only did I search out new and different kinds of music because of his influence, but I searched out film (Spike Lee) and books (Malcom X) to feed my appetite.

All this is due to Prince. Prince taught me about humanity and that included Black people.

I recently read that there’s a push to put up a statue of Prince in Minneapolis in place of Christopher Columbus. Yes, there is not already a statue of Prince in Minneapolis, his hometown and there’s one of Columbus. I was shocked to find this out as well. Hopefully, this is rectified.

On to more important things.

So, Prince was my gateway to weird guitar music, but he was also my path to being open to discussions of race and racism. Do I get it right? Usually not. But, as I explain to my children, we (white people) are all racist to some degree because we have benefitted from from racist institutions in some way or another. However, we have a choice to ignore this fact or do something to change it.

I’m trying my best to change it. I’m trying to change me and I’m trying to change the system, because it’s rigged, yo.

Now, there’s nothing all that insightful in this post. I’m just a white guy trying to do what’s right. I’m a white guy who recognizes the humanity of Black people and that they deserve all that we white people take for granted on the daily.

Now I’m just rambling.

Look, remember that if you’re reading this, you probably love rock music. Rock music is the music of Black people (along with hip-hop, jazz, etc.).

Or you’re reading this because you like beer. Apparently, having a beer with someone as you talk about important issues is a thing. Go here and buy some beer brewed by Black people. Then, donate to these organizations.

There. I covered beer and indie rock, but now I’ve got you thinking about race. Join me for a discussion in the comments.

#BlackLivesMatter

(I’m not fooling myself. 1-2 people will comment at most. This blog has been idle for two or three years.)

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5 Responses

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  1. Steve said, on June 29, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Welcome back! It is great to see you and this place back up and running, a very, very welcome return.

    I feel a bit odd discussing BLM online, as it feels like the internet really doesn’t need my perspective, as a white male. But then I feel like not saying something is wholly inadequate too, maybe even complicit.

    I am reflecting on how to recognise the structural and systematic inequalities, and how to combat them, but beyond small, practical gestures that feels like a tough assignment. We’re in a pretty dangerous political moment, and there are a few people with far too much power and influence. I don’t want to sound defeatist, but in many ways Western society (and capitalism) is entirely built on all of this horror and bigotry.

    • SM said, on June 29, 2020 at 9:32 pm

      The least we can do is at least doing something. Glad to hear from you. I’m hopefully just getting started.

      • Steve said, on June 30, 2020 at 4:26 am

        Absolutely – we have to do something.

  2. Nathan said, on June 29, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    I was happy to see this post appear in my feed reader this morning. It’s been a minute since we got a Matador series post. Hopefully the muse strikes and you can start working toward OLE 038.

    • SM said, on June 29, 2020 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks. After I get warmed up, I’ll get back to the Matador posts. Thanks for checking in.


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