Dance music, racism and a soundtrack of déjà vu

I was searching online earlier this week on a subject I’ll be writing about next week – when I came across this piece courtesy of Dweller Forever.

The premise of the piece? Well…

“Black squares and antiracism infographics were in abundance last summer, but that’s the only thing that was in abundance: responsibility, accountability, and any active changes were certainly not.”

There has been much focus – not least from me – on the way plague rave DJs have seemingly been rewarded for their terrible activity by the legit festivals and clubs who refuse to take a stance on this issue. Parklife and the hypocritical Sacha Lord come to mind.

What hasn’t been mentioned as much is the race question. When is the scene going to become as diverse as those who created it wanted it to be? I haven’t said a great deal on this subject myself – and I’m beginning to suspect I should speak more on the issue.

I used to think that as a white male, I should probably remain more of a spectator in this discussion. And I remain of the view that as a group who largely dominate the industry, white men should certainly listen closely to the ongoing discussion.

But no one is going to get anywhere if those currently in charge don’t do anything. There’s plenty of talent out there in all kinds of colours – so recruiting DJs on the basis of talent should be easy. However, this problem continues to exist, so something is clearly still wrong.

Promoters need to back talent, whether that talent is black, white or anywhere inbetween. Clubs need to take a chance. The supine dance music press needs to get behind them – and because of their talent, not because of their skin colour.

There’s room for everyone here. The only question is whether the old farts at the top want it to happen. And it’s highly questionable that they do…

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