Baker Boy shares statement on Black Lives Matter: “I am angry. I am scared.”

"I feel every negative emotion that there is to feel about what happened to George Floyd"

Indigenous rapper Baker Boy has shared a statement on the Black Lives Matter movement, following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.

Baker Boy’s June 2 message on Instagram joins a number of other statements by Australian artists, including Briggs and DJ Soju Gang.

In his statement, Baker Boy – real name Danzal Baker – addressed initial criticism he received “for not publicly sharing” his response to the events.

“I have had a number of people ‘call me out’ for not publicly sharing my rage about what is happening right now,” Baker wrote.

“As my Baker Boy persona I choose a path of positivity and light and choose not to speak politically with this platform. I’m also unsure that I have anything new or insightful to say. I don’t feel like it is anyone’s place to push guilt or question the activism of a First Nations person during this traumatising time.”

Baker continued, reflecting upon his own background and ancestry. “But I will say; I am a Yolngu Man from North East Arnhem Land,” he wrote.

“I am angry. I am scared. I feel every negative emotion that there is to feel about what happened to George Floyd. I feel these emotions EVERY DAMN DAY not just right now when it’s big on the news or trending on twitter and Instagram. This is my life and I am scared, I have anxiety about going to unknown places like a different cafe from my usual, not to mention the challenge of touring from the fear of racism, that, yes, is still rampant here in Australia too.”

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I have had a number of people ‘call me out’ for not publicly sharing my rage about what is happening right now. As my Baker Boy persona I choose a path of positivity and light and choose not to speak politically with this platform. I’m also unsure that I have anything new or insightful to say. I don’t feel like it is anyone’s place to push guilt or question the activism of a First Nations person during this traumatising time. But I will say; I am a Yolngu Man from North East Arnhem Land. I am angry. I am scared. I feel every negative emotion that there is to feel about what happened to George Floyd. I feel these emotions EVERY DAMN DAY not just right now when it’s big on the news or trending on twitter and Instagram. This is my life and I am scared, I have anxiety about going to unknown places like a different cafe from my usual, not to mention the challenge of touring from the fear of racism, that, yes, is still rampant here in Australia too. For all of my balanda (non-indigenous) brothers and sisters I hope what you’re seeing in America right now is opening your eyes to the stolen land that you live on here in Australia, to your privilege, to those ‘jokes’, to those ‘jokes’ that you don’t call out, to your racist uncle or aunt or cousin or friend or coworker and, most devastatingly, opening your eyes to the over 400 deaths in custody of Indigenous Australians without a single officer charged. As your eyes open and you slowly awaken to the realities of what it is like to be a Person of Colour, an African American, an Indigenous Australian, I truly hope your activism goes further than your social media. Activism starts at home, with hard conversations. Please think about the way you are communicating with POC around you, especially at this time, as those who reached out to me considered themselves allies whilst amplifying my trauma, anger and sadness. Love and Peace, Danzal.

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The rapper also encouraged non-indigenous readers to not simply stand by and ignore casual racism, hoping their “activism goes further than your social media”.

“For all of my balanda (non-indigenous) brothers and sisters I hope what you’re seeing in America right now is opening your eyes to the stolen land that you live on here in Australia, to your privilege, to those ‘jokes’, to those ‘jokes’ that you don’t call out, to your racist uncle or aunt or cousin or friend or coworker and, most devastatingly, opening your eyes to the over 400 deaths in custody of Indigenous Australians without a single officer charged,” he wrote.

“As your eyes open and you slowly awaken to the realities of what it is like to be a Person of Colour, an African American, an Indigenous Australian, I truly hope your activism goes further than your social media. Activism starts at home, with hard conversations.

“Please think about the way you are communicating with POC around you, especially at this time, as those who reached out to me considered themselves allies whilst amplifying my trauma, anger and sadness. Love and Peace, Danzal.”

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