Posts tagged with "Monument"

Defacing monument illustration

Controversy Over Monument Defacings

By Eamonn Burke

As the reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice in the United States continues, so does the demand for a change in how we view and represent our racist history. One target of such criticism has been statues of American “heroes” who were known to have owned slaves or were part of the Confederacy despite their prominent standing in our nation’s history.

Statues of Thomas Jefferson, Christopher Columbus, Ulysses S. Grant and many more are being torn down and defaced across the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s death, which represented a larger problem of systemic racism in the US. This comes with other reforms that have been under way, such as banning the Confederate flag from NASCAR races and renaming controversial brands like Aunt Jemima, as well as Military Bases.

“When I look at these statues of white supremacists, it is just a constant reminder of the struggle that my ancestors had to face,” said Kerrigan Williams, leader of the activist group Freedom Fighters.

The spray painting and toppling of monuments and statues has also been met with a fair amount of criticism, especially from our President Donald Trump. In an Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore (as well as on Twitter) Trump denounced the actions, and announced plans for a “National Garden of American Heroes” featuring statues of the founding fathers and other prominent Americans. Although there are much bigger problems at hand, Trump seems to be focusing his campaign on these “radical” protestors who are trying to “destroy America”. Republican senator Mitch McConnell played the good cop and expressed distaste with the protests in a more civil way: “The vast majority of Americans know full well that imperfect heroes are still heroes,” he said.

While some far-right Trump loyalists may rally under this, there is evidence that this is turning away more people than it is uniting for him.

Zander Bleck

Zander Bleck’s single, “Mercy Me” is definitely the summer rock jam. Zander’s incredible vocals and funk pop rock beats make for the perfect on repeat summer road trip tune. Check out more on Zander below!

A spellbinding voice, vibrant charisma and a compelling artist in ascension: Zander Bleck creates epic, anthemic music to propel rock and into the future.

A small town kid from rural New Jersey, Zander grew up geographically close to the towering spires of Manhattan. A talented musical family were prime influences as he absorbed the music of legendary artists from far before his time. A competitive athlete in high school, he moved to New York where modeling paid the bills and set the stage for his journey. “I developed a certain type of fearlessness,” Zander remembers. “When you get that hardened skin it prepares you well for the music business.”

After early successes with his East Coast band “Monument” , Zander went solo. He began focusing on his voice and his writing. Fate connected him to multiple Grammy-winning songwriter Holly Knight and he traveled to Los Angeles to write and record “Temptation,” the song that he recalls, “…changed everything.”

His distinctive voice captured the attention of producer RedOne, hot off the success of Lady Gaga. In US Today RedOne called Bleck’s voice “A mixture of Jim Morrison, Bono, and Freddie Mercury” and added, “There’s no singer like that right now.” RedOne introduced Zander to Jimmy Iovine at Interscope Records and a deal was made. When an executive shakeup reordered the label, Zander shifted to Capitol Records. But his major label launch was not to be.

“I had to get tough or die,” Zander remembers. “It was time to be true to myself.” Social media was key. “I was getting an instant response. Rather than going through the chain, here was the artist and the audience. When I sing a song on social media the message is immediate, to thousands of people all over the world. I started dedicating myself to this connection.”

See some of his music at his Spotify link here: http://open.spotify.com/track/7ngCXZgsvjWFLekfY1kuLS?si=ttrQgqcgS36rcCpDFqauzg

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