Dan + Shay: We ‘Must Come Together to Make a Change’
Dan + Shay have been mostly inactive on social media since early March, but that changed on Saturday afternoon (May 30) as riots and protests raged in several cities throughout the country over the recent police killing of George Floyd. The hitmaking duo turned to social media to urge fans to "use your voice" and help make a positive change in America during this precarious time in our history.
The duo consisting of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney have been silent on social media since right after they announced that they were postponing their scheduled 2020 The Arena Tour due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). In their Saturday message, they explain that they have been prepping the release of new music and have been deliberately stepping away to focus on that, as well we as taking social distancing precautions very seriously.
"But this past week's events in Minneapolis changed that," they write, referring to the killing of 46-year-old Floyd and its aftermath. A widely-circulated video shows a white police officer named Derek Chauvin kneeling with his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes while Floyd lies helplessly on the ground in handcuffs. At one point Floyd is heard saying that he can't breathe, and onlookers are heard begging Chauvin to let him up because he is going to die.
Chauvin continues to kneel on Floyd's neck for nearly three more minutes after he becomes unresponsive in the disturbing clip. Floyd was unresponsive when an ambulance arrived and was later pronounced dead at an area hospital. He had been detained on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes.
The video from the incident sparked outrage and protests in the following days. According to MinnPost.com, Chauvin and three other Minneapolis police officers who were also on the scene were fired on May 26, and protests and riots broke out all over the city, culminating in the burning and looting of sections of the city and the burning down of a Minneapolis police precinct. Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter on Friday (May 29), as protests broke out in other cities all around the country.
Dan + Shay write that they felt compelled to speak out in light of those events. "This is not the first time this has happened, but by God, please let it be the last," they write fervently. "We, as humans, MUST come together to make a change. Racism and discrimination because of someone's skin color is just simply WRONG."
The duo say they're hoping their stand will inspire others to speak out, too.
"We must educate our children and instill values of love and equality. We are all born innocent, and racism is something that is learned. Let's work together, NOW, to make a change. Please use your voice."
See the full text below:
USA Today reports that officials in Minnesota are telling residents to stay home, and Gov. Tim Walz said in a news conference on Saturday morning that he is "fully mobilizing" the National Guard after violent protests Friday night (May 29). He says the situation is "no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd. It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities."
Walz claims many of the instigators of Friday night's destructive protests are agitators from out of town who are looking to exploit the situation.
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