Paul McCartney Voices Support For George Floyd Protests

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Linda McCartney

Paul McCartney has spoken in support of those seeking justice for the killing of George Floyd.

Floyd was a US citizen who died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a police officer’s knee May 7.

News of his death has sparked widespread protests across the globe.

McCartney’s message arrives as part of Black Out Tuesday, a movement of those within the musical world expressing solidarity.

Individuals and organizations participating in the event have posted images of black squares via social media channels and ceased all other online activity for the duration of June 2.

We’re doing ‘Black Out Tuesday’ in solidarity with the music business and many people all around the world,” Paul McCartney shares via Instagram. “We give our wholehearted support to seek justice for George Floyd’s family and call for an end to all similar injustices for black people and other minorities globally.”

McCartney’s participation should come as no surprise to long time fans.

The Beatle has long noted his objections to racial inequality within the US.

McCartney first witnessed violent acts of segregation on the Beatle’s first American tour in 1964.

He would later write ‘Blackbird‘ from the Beatles’ White Album after watching news reports of race riots and hearing accounts of the suffering of Black American children attempting to attend desegregated schools.

I was in Scotland playing on my guitar,” the Beatle later recounted of writing ‘Blackbird’, “and I remembered this whole idea of ‘you were only waiting for this moment to arise’ was about, you know, the black people’s struggle in the Southern States, and I was using the symbolism of a blackbird. It’s not really about a blackbird whose wings are broken, you know, it’s a bit more symbolic.

In 2018 McCarney further elaborated, sharing that Blackbird should be interpreted as Black Girl.

We would see what was going on and sympathize with the people going through those troubles,” he shared in an interview with GQ,and it made me want to write a song that, if it ever got back to the people going through those troubles, it might just help them a little bit, and that’s this next one.”

In the wake of Floyd’s death, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has also shared a message with fans.

Today is a good day to come together right now,” Starr writes via Twitter. “Peace and love. Be safe be well.”

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