Play It Forward!
My second release was inspired by the sociopolitical discord our country has been facing. Initially, I was moved after the now infamous San Bernardino shooting. What ensued was a two-fold snowball effect. First, the Muslim community was quickly blamed as a whole. An FBI report showed that hate crimes against Muslims increased by 67% in 2015 and as the Trump campaign advanced, using fear tactics as a way to gain support from prejudiced and uneducated communities, that rate showed no signs of slowing down.
At the same time, I noticed an unsavory trend happening anytime a tragedy befell a community, particularly in regards to mass shootings. Conservative politicians, many of whom accepted campaign dollars from the NRA, were quoted in papers and social media accounts offering "thoughts and prayers" to the families of the slain and continued through the massacres in Orlando, Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs. This, of course, caused a backlash from concerned citizens that were outraged that the men who actually held the power to enact stricter gun laws were merely giving lip service.
The finished product became something of a satire. I wrote from the perspective of a conservative, God-fearing, All-American man who laments about how the country is falling apart at the hands of liberals, immigrants, and minorities, and finds his only recourse is to pray to a god that does not answer back.
The music video was compiled from footage taken from The Women's March in both San Francisco and Washington DC as well as the inauguration and captures the raw emotion from both the Left and Right.
This entire process combined with observing how our current administration is handling the refugee crisis and immigrant families seeking sanctuary has compelled me to donate the proceeds of this release to The International Rescue Committee. This organization responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises. Internationally, they have helped millions access healthcare, obtain food, schooling, and other educational opportunities. In the United States, they've helped thousands of refugees resettle, find job opportunities and create small businesses for themselves.