Paul McCartney Demands Justice For George Floyd
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Collier Schorr/GQ
Taking to his official social media channels, Paul McCartney has demanded justice for the family of George Floyd.
Floyd was a US citizen who died May 25 after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer’s knee.
“As we continue to see the protests and demonstrations across the world,” Paul McCartney writes, “I know many of us to want to know just what we can be doing to help.”
“None of us have all the answers and there is no quick fix,” he continues, “but we need change. 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.”
McCartney then recalls the racial inequality witnessed on the Beatles’ first US tour in 1964.
“In 1964,” he shares, “the Beatles were due to play Jacksonville in the US and we found out it was going to be a segregated audience.”
The concert in question was held at Jacksonville’s Gator Bowl on September 11, 1964.
“We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now,” John Lennon informed the US media at the time. “I’d sooner lose our appearance money.”
“It felt wrong,” Paul now recounts, “We said ‘we’re not going to do that!’ And the concert we did do was the first non-segregated audience. We made sure it was in our contract. To us it seemed like common sense.”
Jacksonville would be the first only concert the Beatles would play in the southern state.
McCartney would later express some of his views on Black Americans’ struggle for civil rights in 1968 Beatles song ‘Blackbird‘.
“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,” Paul states, “along with countless others that came before. 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,” McCartney concludes. “I want justice for all those who have died and suffered. Saying nothing is not an option.”
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) June 5, 2020