Bruce Springsteen shares powerful tribute to George Floyd on home radio show

"Our black citizens continue to be killed unnecessarily by our police on the streets of America"

Bruce Springsteen has shared a powerful tribute to George Floyd via the latest instalment of his home radio show, ‘From His Home To Yours.’

Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis last week (May 25) following an altercation with police officers. Floyd, who was African American, was killed when a white police officer appeared to kneel on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest.

Officer Derek Chauvin has since been sacked and charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three of his colleagues, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Keung are now all facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Since Floyd’s death, protests have erupted in the US and around the world.

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Springsteen opened his show with ‘American Skin (41 Shots)’ – an eight minute song Springsteen wrote in response to the killing of Amadou Diallo in 1999, an unarmed Guinean immigrant shot dead by four New York City police officers.

In an emotive opening, Springsteen said the length of the song mirrored “how long it took George Floyd to die with a Minneapolis officer’s knee buried into his neck.”

He continued: “That’s a long time. That’s how long he begged for help and said he couldn’t breathe. The arresting officer’s response was nothing but silence and weight. Then he had no pulse. And still it went on…May he rest in peace.

“As we speak, 40 million people are unemployed. 100,000 plus citizens have died from COVID-19 with only the most tepid and unfeeling response from our White House. As of today, our black citizens continue to be killed unnecessarily by our police on the streets of America. As of this broadcast, the country is on fire and in chaos.”

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Other songs Springsteen played in tribute to Floyd included Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’, Kanye West’s ‘Who Will Survive in America’, Bob Dylan’s ‘Murder Most Foul’ and Bob Marley’s ‘Burnin’ and Lootin’.

He also played a recording of a powerful 1963 speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Childish Gambino

Springsteen added: “…We wake again to an America who burned our buildings, torched police cars and shattered shop windows. The cost that we’re paying for another half of a century of unresolved fundamental issues of race. We have not cared for our house very well. There can be no standing peace without the justice owed to every American regardless of their race, color or creed. The events of this week have once again proven that out.

“We need systemic changes in our law enforcement departments and in the political will of our national citizenry to once again move forward to the kind of changes that will bring the ideals of the Civil Rights movement once again to life and into this moment.”

He continued: “We have a choice between chaos or community, a spiritual, moral and democratic awakening or becoming a nation fallen to history as critical issues were refused or not addressed. Is our American system flexible enough to make, without violence, the humane, fundamental changes necessary for a just society?

“The American story, our story, is in our hands and may God bless us all. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay strong. Until we meet again, stay involved. And go in peace.”

A large number of names from across the worlds of music and entertainment have publicly called for justice for George Floyd following his death, including Killer Mike,Beyonce, Ice Cube, Janelle Monae, Billie Eilish, Jay-Z, Adele and Travis Scott.

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