“We are at our worst when we attack one another,” they wrote in a letter that denounced all forms of hate speech.
Hundreds of musicians in the United Kingdom made a stand against “all forms of racism” following anti-Semitic social-media posts by British rapper Wiley.
Popular names like Rita Ora, Niall Horan, Lewis Capaldi, Lily Allen and Little Mix joined fellow artists and music labels, in addition to industry figures, in signing an open letter titled “#NoSilenceInMusic” on Aug. 1.
They said “whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division. We are at our worst when we attack one another.”
The letter also read: “Minorities from all backgrounds and faiths have struggled and suffered. From slavery to the Holocaust, we have painful collective memories. All forms of racism have the same roots—ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating. We, the British music industry are proudly uniting to amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity. Silence is not an option.”
The letter was posted after Wiley, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie Jr., went on an anti-Semitic tirade a few weeks ago.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram deactivated the accounts belonging to Wiley last week after Jewish groups worldwide conducted a 48-hour boycott of Twitter.