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Machine Head’s Robb Flynn + Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach Offer Thoughts on Recent Racial Unrest + More

Charles Epting, Loudwire / Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Charles Epting, Loudwire / Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

As the socio-political state of affairs in the United States continues to see citizens lineup on either side of a multitude of issues including the election, racism and the disparity between an elite upper class and the remainder of the population, rock and metal musicians have been voicing their thoughts and concerns on these matters. Both Machine Head‘s Robb Flynn and Killswitch Engage‘s Jesse Leach have issued lengthy statements weighing in across all fronts.

In Flynn’s Facebook post (seen below), he hits on the recent protests in light of white police officers shooting black citizens, the incredibly wealthy class and what it means for the rest of the population. Hitting on issues with law enforcement, he said, “Police killing black people who are posing no threat has GOT TO STOP. And even the police are fed with up it.” “People are livid. People are frustrated. People are angry,” the frontman went on, adding, “And this is what humans do when they feel that way. They protest! And it is perfectly legal to do. In fact, this very country was founded it on it. And they should protest.”

Turning his attention to the wealthy, Flynn said, “The rich and powerful have gone to great lengths to keep the money in their pockets. They’ve gone to great lengths to keep money out of, not just our pockets, but our schools, our parks, our roads, our hospitals, our water supplies, our small businesses, and our incredibly under-staffed / over-stressed police forces.”

Stitching together these two facets, the Machine Head leader stated, “This is not about whose life matters more, it’s about people feeling equal, even semi-equal. There’s a lot of good cops out there, and while I’ll always love the 1988 N.W.A. tune, ‘F–k The Police,’ it just doesn’t apply in 2016. Police have found a way to not shoot armed white men even when they wave a gun at them, they can find a way to not shoot black men.”

Leach took a similar stance, expressing his disgust with these affairs, but pointed thoughts toward the notion that “we have been conditionally dumbed down, divided and controlled,” in a Facebook post (seen below). First, he speaks about the white-on-black violence. The Killswitch Engage singer said, “Racism (among many other warped and conditioned hateful thinking) is alive and well people! It is being arrogantly displayed by many on both ‘sides’ of the current issues.”

“Yet we are distracted by social status, fantasy games and vanity glued to our phones like zombies,” Leach went on. “We swallow manufactured media as click bait conspiracies to occupy our minds. We have been warned for decades about these times from literature, to movies and songs. Yet here we are in the midst of yet another crucial downfall and all we are doing is infighting and pointing fingers at each other. When in fact the blame lies upon those in high ‘authority.’ Those very few at the top who oversee the passing and amending of laws, the controlling of wealth and the distribution of power ARE the divisors and dictators of the system.”

He then urged everyone to be good to each other, telling those who believe in God to pray, to protest in peace, for officers to exercise control, for the compassionate to give to charity, wrapping up the notion saying, “In the meantime pause and think before you speak or act and ask yourself ‘am I a part of the problem or a part of the solution?’ You can control and change the way you think and act.”

At the end of his post, Flynn thanked others in the metal community for speaking out about these issues, including Lamb of God‘s Mark Morton and Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor. Taylor, in part, said, “You can back up ‘black lives matter’ and say that cops’ lives matter; it’s all the same thing. And you can have those different ideas in the same thought, and there’s nothing wrong with that, because we do all matter.”

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