Macy Gray, international R&B icon, made this online post:
I’m booked for 2 shows in TelAviv. I’m getting alot of letters from activists urging/begging me to boycott by NOT performing in protest of Apartheid against the Palestinians. What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting, but I wana go. I gotta lotta fans there I dont want to cancel on and I dont know how my NOT going changes anything. What do you think? Stay or go?
Macy, you answered it yourself. “What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting”. Would you, or any conscious individual for that matter, have played for an anti-black crowd in Apartheid South Africa?
So I urge you to ask yourself. Why do you want to go? Is it for the fans?
In Palestine, Mohammad Yassin is a fan of comic books. Layla Hamdan is a fan of Noam Chomsky. Aboud al-Kanani is a fan of American bands like Linkin Park and Three Days Grace. Haneen al-Rayyan is a fan of you, Macy, of you. But these pleasures, these interests, are never allowed into the Gaza Strip or West Bank. So what about these fans?
Not playing in Tel Aviv doesn’t detract from your status as an R&B icon or from the quality of your music or from the meaning behind your words. I’m not asking you to ignore your fans nor am I asking you to treat them the same way Palestinian fans are treated. No, that’d be inhuman, immoral, and unjust. But I am asking you to use the power of music to stand up for what’s right. You are in a position to say no to oppression, not just against the Palestinian people but for all of the oppressed in every corner of the world.
Although you might not think so, what you do next really will change things. Playing in an Apartheid state founded on principles of intolerance would only show support for a government and a society intent on erasing the Palestinian identity. After all, silence means complicity. But choosing to opt out sends a very bold message: I, Macy Gray, do not approve of the brutal occupation of Palestine. I am not punishing my fans but simply pressuring Israel into removing its racist policies. If my fans want me to play, then stand with me as we denounce injustice and inhumanity together.
This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with human rights and dignity. The fact that you even made this online post shows that you have a working moral compass. All that’s left is for you to do what’s best.