It's tough times. We hope you and your families are in good health. We know you know what's going on, and you have probably heard a lot of takes on it from a lot of companies so we're going to keep this to the point.
Just over a week ago, Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, the latest in a long history of unjust Black deaths at the hands of law enforcement. Since then, the outcry has been ringing out in protests all across our country. The violent suppression of these protests by police has resulted in more injuries and deaths. We stand in solidarity with the protesters and with the Black community.
How can a music software company contribute positively and constructively in this moment? For us, the answer is: by sending funds to those doing front line work. We're writing to ask for your support.
The Black Youth Project is an organization that both provides emergency funds to Black community members in need, and invests long-term in the future of Black leadership. They have chapters in many U.S. cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, DC and Detroit. From their website: "Our work is generally centered on ending systems of anti-Blackness and emphasizing the urgency of protecting folks living on the margins of the margins, including women, girls, femmes, and the gamut of LGBTQ folk." To find out more, please visit https://www.byp100.org/about.
From now until the end of Friday, June 5 (Pacific Time) we'll be donating 100% of our sales to BYP100. As a family business, our pockets are not deep enough for an impressive direct donation right now, but this way we can leverage the software we've made to direct some funds where they are sorely needed. We hope you'll help.
We and some folks we know have been contributing individually to community bail funds around the country and that is another way to help right now. If you are interested in contributing to these efforts, here’s a link to donate to many community bail funds at one time: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bail_funds_george_floyd
There will be a time soon to get back to music, which is more important to us than ever as a force for change, as meaning and community and connection. But this week is not that time. If it were not for the inspiration of great Black music, Madrona Labs would not exist. We owe the Black community our help.
with all best wishes,
photo: Nathalie Graham
Randy thank you for posting this, for making these donations, and for encouraging others to do the same.
Knowledge Is Power: The Superpower 'X-Ray Vision' Of Anarchism
Apparently-- that's apparently (take most everything you read with a grain of salt)-- a Black Lives Matter person-in-charge ran off with some of the funds (10 million?) for their own personal advantage or something like that. (But of course there are other related organizations and forms of help that may have better 'accounting systems').
In any case, I want to offer those readers here who do not have it, what is viewed as a kind of superpower; namely an anarchistic lens through which to peer at the world.
Look up its proper definition if you're unsure and then don the lens and find, too, how it will likely change your perspective and therefore in a sense change your reality.
"The police have always been thugs, but they have traditionally been thugs in the service of elites. The crises of the 1960s produced an outbreak of police hooliganism directed against the citizenry... and a revolt against their own commanders and the civil authorities.
The police, in short, became self-conscious political actors seeking to defend their own interests, advance their own agenda, act under their own authority, and increase their already substantial power. Such a development is very dangerous for a wavering democracy like that of the United States." ~ Kristian Williams, 'Our Enemies In Blue'
"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." ~ Malcolm X
"It is useless and... futile for us to continue talking peace and non-violence against a government whose reply is only savage attacks on an unarmed and defenseless people..." ~ Nelson Mandela
"The philosophy is basically what we call intercommunalism-- we're not nationalists, we don't believe in nationalism. Nationalism or nationhood is... akin to superiority, is akin to racism..." ~ Bobby Seale
"Patriotism is, as we know, the last refuge of a scoundrel. Now we're talking about real scoundrels, like Nixon." ~ Gore Vidal
" 'I am a former Los Angeles Police narcotics detective. I worked South Central Los Angeles and I can tell you, Director Deutch, emphatically and without equivocation, that the [Central Intelligence] Agency has dealt drugs in this country for a long time.' (He then referred Deutch to three specific CIA agency operations known as Amadeus, Pegasus and Watchtower... Ruppert... [said] that in his experience as an LAPD narcotics officer, he has seen evidence of CIA complicity in drug dealing for a long time.)." ~ Michael Ruppert, documentary film, 'Collapse'
"The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation." ~ Emma Goldman
Lot's more but you get the idea.
Of course, the superpower is also good for music, incidentally, such as lyrics.
If you accept it, use your new power responsibly.
And, lastly, I'll wrap this fine comment up with one of my faves:
"The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself... Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable..." ~ H.L. Mencken