Paul McCartney on Beatles refusing to play for segregated audience in 1964, justice for George Floyd’s family
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On Friday, the iconic English musician, 77, took to social media to express the importance of coming together in order to see a change in the world.
"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," he wrote on Twitter.
McCartney continued: "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. It felt wrong," McCartney remembered. "We said 'We're not doing that!' and the concert we did do was to their first non-segregated audience. We then made sure this was in our contract. To us it seemed like common sense."
McCartney then noted how nearly, six decades later, deaths like Floyd's -- at the hands of police -- still occur.
Paul McCartney at his 'Hey Grandude!' book signing at Waterstones Piccadilly on September 06, 2019, in London, England. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)
"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 stated.
"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," McCartney continued before concluding: "Saying nothing is not an option."
FILE - In this Aug. 23, 1966 file photo, The Beatles, from left, Ringo Starr; Paul McCartney; John Lennon; and George Harrison appear at a press conference in New York. (AP Photo, File)
Following his statement, McCartney also shared a list of organizations his social media followers could support "in the fight for racial justice" including, Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, the NAACP, Stand Up to Racism, Campaign Zero, and the Community Justice Exchange.
Across the country, people have been protesting against police brutality, specifically against members of the black community, in the wake of the death of Floyd, who died while in police custody after an officer kneeled on Floyd's neck for eight minutes, moments that were captured on cellphone video. In the footage, Floyd, 46, shouts “I cannot breathe” and “don’t kill me,” before losing consciousness. He was later pronounced dead.
Since-fired officer Derek Chauvin was later charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death.