Black Lives, Black Votes #4 Andrew Buchanan, Peoria, IL

andrew-3030Andrew Buchanan, drummer for hardcore band Ghost Key, and all-around charming and positive dude, took the time to provide a second interview for our site. Recently, at Riot Fest Chicago, I saw several people wearing shirts that said Black Drummers Matter. I walked up to one of them and told him he needed to check out Andrew’s band. You should too. In the meantime, check out this interview, in which we focus on 2016 politics and the Black Lives Matter movement. There are few people I’ve met who exude positivity like Andrew. He’s one of those young people that are just a bright ray of sunshine in the world. That being said, Andrew dives into some tough material in this interview and hits some hard truths head on.  

[Feel free to peruse our other Black Lives, Black Votes interviews on the main interviews page, and our more scene-related Black Lives and Hardcore section.]

We are edging closer to a monumental election in the USA. What are your hopes as we cast our ballots for the next president? 

First off. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity speak on another topic again Ned. You’re an incredible guy with an incredible blog and I appreciate all the things you’ve talked about.

But let’s get to it. Personally this may make some people uncomfortable about me saying this, but I’m debating on if I would like to vote or not this year. Both the individuals that are running for office don’t seem to have any real interest in helping black people in impoverished communities. Even the few third party options don’t seem to have much of a sway on me and the way that I think this country should be run.

I hope that whoever becomes president really focuses on the true matters at hand. There is still segregation in society and the media is continuing to push the agenda. Hopefully we as human beings can start making decisions ourselves and make real change as a whole.

You’re from Peoria, so I can imagine that Chicago news dominates in your area. High numbers of shootings and murder rates in Chicago show up in the national discussion. Sometimes I hear people say that Black on Black crime is so bad that we shouldn’t even be focusing on police-Black relations or criticizing police who appear to be overusing force. This is a painful subject for a lot of people to think about and talk about. From your perspective, what is the state of Black Lives Matter and police-community relations in Illinois?

Yes, I get a lot of the news being filtered from Chicago. Honestly I don’t really watch the news, but being on social media and viewing what people say and the videos being posted makes me feel like I am.

The one thing I’ve been wanting to say is that black on black crime really doesn’t exist. To me, it’s just crime. Like white people killing white people, and Latinos killing Latinos. But I do see the difference in how minorities are getting treated by our law enforcement. I had the worst situation a week before I left for tour. I was going to my guitarist’s house to go drop off some drum equipment and a cop started following me into town off the interstate. ghost-key-symbol

He followed for at least two miles. The officer was probably minding his own business and probably wasn’t thinking about anything out the ordinary. I didn’t even get pulled over, he just went about his way. But the only thing that was going through my head that night was if I was going to lose my life. Why should I feel like that? I could only imagine what it’s like in tough neighborhoods. I’ve been lucky enough to be raised in the suburbs my whole life.

But getting back to the point here. Black Lives Matters is extremely important, and this isn’t saying that other races are not getting hurt by cops, but it’s mostly black people that are experiencing this kind of injustice.

We as an entire population need to wake up to this issue. People brush it off like it’s not a problem, and then they get blamed for contributing to the problem. This is why we need to come together. Until we get beyond the hate, we will remain an ignorant, stagnant, and a broken society.

Donald Trump tells Black people that Democratic leadership in urban areas has failed them, and that this would be a good time to jump ship and vote Republican. Does his message resonate with you? Is Democratic leadership to blame for drugs, violence, and crime in urban areas?

Anything and everything that Donald Trump has to say has gone through one ear and out the other. When it comes to the black community, only black people can fix it. Ronald Reagan was the beginning of the end for the urban community during his term. We as a culture haven’t been able to recover from that. People are still in the streets, individuals are still being shot by cops and by others of their same skin tone. People are still in low income housing and can’t get out of it.

support-black-guys-in-hardcoreWhen it comes the black community, we have to start educating ourselves and our youth about the past of black history and what we can do to grow from those experiences. I don’t think Trump will do anything to help with the community. No one in office really has. The cards have always been stacked against people of color and it’s not going to change until we change it as a whole.

Whenever I think of black people doing well for themselves, I think of The Black Wall Street. if you haven’t heard of it, please please please google and read it. If urban kids had access to that kind of information, I believe the community could rebuild itself in a generation without any external help. The knowledge to have a better country exists, but our country is run by people that don’t care about anyone but themselves. The population is more concerned about who’s marrying whom, and celebrities that don’t even know who they are. We need to educate ourselves. Read, learn, communicate, and achieve. With the more time that goes by, the realization that without all the political and religious chaos, we as people could learn to make America great.

Love one another no matter what they believe in, and stop spreading gratuitous hate and we can overcome anything together.

Again, thank you so much Ned for giving me the opportunity to say what was on my heart. You’re the man!


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