June 1, 2020
Trey, Mike, Page, and Jon:
Phans for Racial Equity, BrianRobert, GrooveSafe, Mike Side Dyke Side, Access Me, and Ben &Jerry’s would like to express our sincere appreciation for your decision to participate in the music industry’s “Blackout” Tuesday by postponing this week’s Dinner & A Movie broadcast and for contributing through WaterWheel to Color of Change.
From the severe racial disparities in healthcare spotlighted by COVID-19 and the senseless destruction of Black lives through unprovoked violence by vigilantes and police to the aggressive efforts by some politicians to prevent people of color from voting safely in a pandemic, these past few weeks have exposed the racism deeply embedded in America’s economy and democracy.
Your voice carries incredible weight with our tight knit community of fans. As representatives of Phish fans of all ages and identities, we thank you for exercising leadership by sending a strong signal to our fanbase that Black Lives Matter, that the murderers of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade must face justice, and that we cannot simply return to business as usual when “normal” is a world in which Black people are at substantial risk while jogging, bird-watching in Central Park, or indeed simply breathing. The show must be paused.
While these regular Tuesday night broadcasts have brought the Phish community together at a difficult time, we gladly give up this solace for one week to stand with our Black and brown fellow fans and Americans to say clearly “We can’t breathe.” We know that you have taken pains to keep the band out of politics over the years, preferring behind-the-scenes action to public statements. But we thank you deeply for acknowledging the simple truth that ending the loss of Black lives “requires every single one of us to play an active role.”
We also thank you for recognizing the important opportunity to mobilize the Phish community to become part of the solution by contributing to Color of Change and signaling the importance of action on behalf of racial justice. You have appropriately focused on public health, and racism is the biggest public health crisis in America–one for which there is no vaccine. We pledge to continue mobilizing our fellow fans to follow your lead.
Thank you again–in these difficult times your words speak deeply to us as usual: “don’t give up hope.”
Phans for Racial Equity
Mike Side Dyke Side
Ben & Jerry’s