Black Voices – Crushing Boo

On Tuesday June 2nd, I, like many others, posted a black square to my Instagram with the #BlackOutTuesday hashtag. Almost immediately I realized that this was not nearly doing enough and that if I truly feel Black Lives Matter then I have to do something more. I figure something I do have is my modest platform here at DC Heavy Metal. With that in mind I started reaching out to some of my black friends to ask them if they’d like to make a guest post on DCHM. I told them they can write something, make a video or audio recording, share links, literature, whatever. The subject matter of each post is entirely up to them, it does not have to be related to metal or even the DMV area. This is the second of this series of posts I’m calling Black Voices and I hope you take the time to listen to them. You can find all the posts in this series using the Black Voices tag here.

This post is another video, this time by my friend Crushing Boo. I think just about everyone involved in DC’s DIY scene knows who Boo is but even if you don’t I hope you can appreciate what he has to say about his experiences with heavy metal and police profiling in this post. You can read the full transcription below the video itself as well.

Hey Chris. Thank you for giving me a chance to tell my story.

I remember the first time I heard Napalm Death and thinking, “wow it’s really cool that a band can be brutal and talk about intelligent things that affect all of us.” I loved, you know I love metal I loved, you know, the evil shit but it was really cool to see a band that was socially and politically oriented with their songwriting and their lyrics.

I also remember the first time I heard Suffocation and I opened up the CD book for Effigy of the Forgotten and saw the band photo and was blown away by Terrance Hobbs and Mike Smith. You know, seeing these two black men just obliterating, shredding the shit out of the world musically and putting on an amazing show live. And one of the things that I also loved about the metal scene is, when I was a kid you, well when I was a teenager, it was possible, at least in the DC area for some of these bands when they came to town, to be able to hang out with them. So it was great to be able to actually meet like Barney [Greenway, vocalist of Napalm Death] and it was cool to like be in the same room and drink beers with the dudes from Suffocation. That was not without its downsides. I definitely remember the N word being dropped by the singer from Deceased and basically setting Mike from Suffocation off and almost ruining a really good time. And it’s really sad that in a scene where everyone hates authority [and] wants to buck the system that you can’t get past dumb shit like that.

So that being said, I want to tell a story about the first time I was ever profiled. Now [I’m] 19, a big ol metal head, baby dreads, black t-shirt, black jeans, black combat boots and waiting at the bus for, I’m waiting at the bus stop about to go to work and a police officer pulled up and turned on lights, got out of his car, proceeded to question me. He asked me where I was, where I was coming from, excuse me. What I was doing, which is weird because I was waiting for the bus. Where I was going, I was on my way to work. And how long I had been there. And I, you know, told him everything that, I told the truth. I lived around the corner. I’m waiting for the bus. I’m going to work. And he proceeded to ask, well I asked him why I was being stopped and he proceeded to tell me that I fit the description of a person that was breaking into houses in the neighborhood. This is in Silver Spring, Maryland, not too far from the DC line. And when I asked what he looked like the officer told me that the person, the suspect was a young, black male with braids in his hair, white t-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. Again I’m, baby dreads, black t-shirt, black pants, combat boots. Explained to him this is what I’m wearing, this is where I’ve been and his response is “well, you could have changed your clothes.” So while this is happening my bus pulls up, slows down, stops for a second, and then keeps on going. A couple minutes after the bus leaves the officer gets a call on the radio and lets me go on about my business. My boss, I was late for work but my boss was cool. It was great to be able to not be taken into custody for false identification or being falsely identified. But the one thing that sticks with me from that day so long ago is the looks on the faces of the people on the bus when it stopped. And they all, most of them looked at me as if, just by, because I was being stopped by the cops like I had done something wrong. It really, it shook me. I can still see some of their faces. People shaking their heads and poo-pooing when I [was] just a young, 19 year old, black man trying to take the bus to work. So it was really disheartening and yeah, that’s my story.

Racism is bullshit. Black lives matter. Black voices matter. And we should do the most metal thing that we can possibly do and that’s smash racism in its fucking face. Thank you for giving me this space, Chris. I love you brother.

1 Comment

  1. Sorry that happened to you, And contrary to popular belief I am not a racist.

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