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Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker Joins Black Lives Matter Protests

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by The West Australian/Daniel Wilkins

Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker has joined thousands of other Australians for a Black Lives Matter protest at Perth’s Langley Park.

Taking place Saturday, June 13 the event formed part of a wider global response to the killing of Geroge 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.

Police kept a watchful presence as the peaceful protest took place.

I’ve had so much support today,” organizer Tanesha Bennell informed Perth newspaper The West Australian, “all the allies and volunteers have been here since 7.30 am and it’s just amazing.”

Bennell’s cousin Elijah Doughty was killed in 2016 after being run over by a ute while motorbike riding.

She believes the driver received a softer sentence due underlying racial politics of the Australian judicial system.

Privilege is a difficult thing to detect about yourself,” Kevin Parker wrote in a recent Instagram post. “It’s literally impossible to experience life without it, but if you’re white, you have it. I admit it took me a long time growing up to grasp this concept.”

As someone who is successful I never liked the idea that some kind of privilege helped me get where I am,” he continued, “but when I actually stopped and thought about it I realized all the ways being white (and male) has advantaged me in life.

Learning is good,” he concluded. “I want to keep learning. I just learned yesterday that on average once a month an indigenous Australian dies in police custody. That’s a terrible statistic to learn and quite unacceptable.”

Parker has donated to a number of charities supporting the victims of racial inequality.

Tame Impala‘s fourth album The Slow Rush arrived on February 14.

Kevin Parker and his band are currently on touring hiatus due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

They are expected to resume touring December 5th.

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Privilege is a difficult thing to detect about yourself because it’s literally impossible to experience life without it, but if you’re white, you have it. I admit it took me a long time growing up to grasp this concept. Being white it can be tough to accept that your life could be any easier than anyone else’s because of your skin colour but it’s 100% true. As someone who is successful I never liked the idea that some kind of privilege helped me get where I am, but when I actually stopped and thought about it I realised all the ways being white (and male) has advantaged me in life, all the way from being described as psychedelic jesus to getting pulled over by the police and not getting assaulted. Which isn’t even counting the ways I haven’t learned yet and the ways I may never know that happen in my life everyday. Learning is good though and I want to keep learning. I just learned yesterday that on average once a month an indigenous Australian dies in police custody. That’s a terrible statistic to learn and quite unacceptable. Check my stories for some things I’ll be donating some money to and encourage you to do the same.

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