Watch Fever 333 Frontman Jason Aalon Butler’s Rousing Black Lives Matter Speech
Fever 333 are all about practicing what they preach. The band, who frequently champion social justice causes, hosted a full production performance livestream yesterday, June 3, dubbed Long Live the Innocent, and collected donations benefitting the Minnesota Freedom Fund and Black Lives Matter.
Outspoken frontman Jason Aalon Butler made the most of his time in the spotlight, addressing the virtual audience between songs several times throughout the broadcast with impassioned speeches that urged folks to get involved and to have difficult conversations with those around them.
Here’s a transcription of one such address, which began around the 33:00 mark:
“For those of you that are familiar with this project, you’re aware that we try to create a safe space that is for everybody. No matter where you come from, no matter where you sit on the spectrum, we genuinely believe that we must open up a space that is safe enough for everyone to have a discussion.
“For years we’ve been fighting, due to ideals, constructs known as ‘race’, and the fear of each other. Right now in America, there is a fire that is being stoked, flames that are being fanned by people in power. The people are relinquishing their power – the very power that we possess, simply by existing, as a people, as a nation, as a constituency. We are giving up our power to someone, and to people, and to a system, that does not care about us – not the way it cares about itself.
“I don’t care where you sit on this spectrum: if you’re able to watch the atrocities that are happening every single day – much like our brother George Floyd being slain on the streets in front of a camera – and you don’t think that there’s a problem, then you are that fucking problem.
“Like I said, this is a safe space, and we can have that conversation all day. But do not retreat when I tell you what the fuck it is that you are. These are facts laid out on paper. These are policies written out, systems in place. You can find this out for your very self. This is not bias. I promise you: if you seek this out, you will find it, and it will be verified by our system – the one I mentioned earlier.
“What I ask of you today is to have the conversation. Don’t be afraid to have the conversation – so afraid that you impose violence upon another person. I challenge you to have the conversation today. I’ll have it with you.”
As someone who has been having “the conversation” with aging relatives a whole lot this week, I’m no stranger to how difficult it is… and my relatives are life-long liberals, so I can only imagine how much harder it is for others. It’s exasperating and it’s exhausting, but Butler is completely right that “this is not bias” and that “these are facts laid out on paper,” and we can make people see those facts if we put in the energy.
Earlier in the broadcast, Butler called out the music industry for being willing to profit off of black music without getting in the trenches and fighting for them when it matters. That segment begins around 18:30. The band also kneeled in silence for George Floyd and other black victims of police brutality at the 27:00 mark. But please, watch the full video: it’s a riveting performance.
Check out the Fever 333’s riveting performance below.