Former Beatles frontman Paul McCartney is the latest celebrity to drive the message that “saying nothing is not an option” in the wake of the police involved death of George Floyd.
In a statement posted across social media, the 77-year-old weighed in on how to promote positive change and pointed out how his band refused to play at a segregated show in Jacksonville back in 1964. “As we continue to see the protests and demonstrations across the world, I know many of us want to know just what we can be doing to help. None of us have all the answers and there is no quick fix but we need change,” McCartney said. “We all need to work together to overcome racism in any form. We need to learn more, listen more, talk more, educate ourselves, and, above all, take action.”
“In 1964 The Beatles were due to play Jacksonville in the US and we found out that it was going to be to a segregated audience,” he continued. “It felt wrong. We said ”We”re not doing that!” and the concert we did was to their first non-segregated audience. We then made sure this was in our contract. To us, it seemed like common sense.”
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) June 5, 2020
McCartney described himself as “sick and angry” at Floyd’s death and admitted that staying silent on the issue “was not an option” for him.
“I feel sick and angry that here we are almost 60 years later and the world is in shock at the horrific scenes of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of police racism, along with the countless others that came before,” he added. “All of us here support and stand alongside all those who are protesting and raising their voices at this time. I want justice for George Floyd”s family, I want justice for all those who have died and suffered. Saying nothing is not an option.”
In his Facebook post, the singer went on to urge people to donate to various organizations, including Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, the NAACP, Stand Up to Racism, Campaign Zero, and Community Justice Exchange.
Like so many in the music industry, McCartney is a loud supporter of progressive causes, particularly with regard to climate change. In September 2018, he released a song ripping President Donald Trump for his stance over the issue, dubbing him a “mad captain” taking America in the wrong direction.
A committed vegetarian and animal rights activist, McCartney recently took aim at China and their culture of wet markets that were responsible for the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus. “They might as well be letting off atomic bombs, because it’s affecting the whole world. It’s like, whoever is responsible for this is at war with the world and itself,” he said in April.