Last night, Pittsburgh promoter Brian Drusky went on a racist tirade over social media attacking the recent Michael Brown-Eric Garner Protests. Within hours, a call to #BoycottDrusky had hundreds of comments and thousands of supporters. This included Justin Strong, the owner of AVA Cafe + Lounge, who suspended his upcoming project at Altar Bar that heavily relies on Drusky’s bookings.
“To compare human life to a messed up McDonald’s order is deplorable.”
Social fervor reached critical mass after musicians threatened to boycott Drusky’s upcoming Strict District Music Fest. Drusky then deleted the comments and issued a fake apology that was only surpassed by its poor grammar. How fake? At the time of the apology, Brian Drusky’s profile picture was a pro-law enforcement image, only adding insult to injury. Those watching the conversation have even taken notice.
“I don’t believe a person like Brian Drusky can magically change his mind over night. It’s all business.”
Drusky’s response highlights the profound confusion that white America is experiencing regarding racial matters. The need for local engagement on current issues is obvious.
Local organizer Davon Magwood explained, “These are symptoms of ignorance and hatred. Education is the cure. It doesn’t take that long to Google something.”
The traffic blockade and ‘die-in’ protests are designed to take bystanders out of their normal routines and force them to think about the issue head on. Unlike Drusky’s response, there is no overnight solution to the problem.
Update 12/8/2014 – 8:19pm: Anti-Flag just cancelled their shows with Drusky.
Update 12/9/2014 – 1:46pm: Brian Drusky has deleted the Facebook comments thread beneath his apology. His Facebook profile has been made private.
Don’t be a Drusky.
If you want to learn more, attend one of these events (thanks to Pittsburgh Student Solidarity Coalition for this list):
Explain Yourself! Making Space to Talk about Race: Why is ending racism necessary to you? A workshop to explore, articulate and document our mutual interest in ending racism. Film, write, speak, share. This event is kid-friendly. Contact Ben at email@example.com or Amanda at 716-238-4089 for more information.
Monday December 8, 2014, from 6:30PM to 8:30 at The Big Idea Cooperative Bookstore (4812 Liberty Ave).
“Difficult Work” Panel Discussion: The Mattress Factory has teamed up with Conflict Kitchen to present a panel discussion about the challenges of making, supporting and presenting art about Palestine, Israel and the US. Featured panelists will include Barbara Luderowski, Michael Olijnyk, Tavia La Follette, Jon Rubin, Dawn Weleski, Germaine Williams and Joseph del Pesco. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., discussion begins at 7 p.m.. FREE but seating is extremely limited. To confirm your participation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Human Rights Day March and Rally: Press conference will highlight human rights struggles in our community – Human Rights City Action Plan will be delivered to public officials after group singing of carols modified to eliminate racism and promote rights. 11 a.m. at the Hill House Association.
Die-In at Carnegie Mellon: Reading Day! No finals, no classes. 1 p.m. at UC Black Chairs. Invite everyone you know and help protest against the police killing unarmed black men.
To learn more about unlearning racism, check out WHAT’S UP.