In September 2005, then Washington Wizards NBA player Etan Thomas gave a speech at a rally in Washington DC that slammed the Bush administration and spoke out against the systemic racism and problems facing the Black community and racialized communities in the US. In the speech, Etan takes Republicans and conservatives on a “field trip” to show them the many issues faced by these communities: lack of educational resources, substandard health care, lack of economic opportunities, police brutality, the impact of unnecessary wars and voter disenfranchisement.
Many of these problems are not only specific to America – they are faced by racialized and Black communities around the world. In 2010 Moonstarr revisited the speech and was inspired by Etan’s words to produce a track, but the song was never released.
Fast forward to 2020. Etan’s speech is as relevant now as it was back in 2005. The current US administration and hateful rhetoric spewed from Donald Trump, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement globally, has crystallized Etan’s message. Moonstarr and Public Transit Recordings felt now was the right time to put this song out to share Etan’s powerful message and spread it widely as possible as “The Trip”.
All proceeds from the sale of “The Trip” will benefit two organizations: The Etan Thomas Foundation (http://www.etanthomas.com) which helps youth achieve their potential and the Black Food Toronto (http://www.blackfoodtoronto.com) which champions food justice within Toronto’s African, Caribbean and Black communities.
Public Transit Recordings has already made a donation to support these great causes and will match sales of “The Trip” up to $500 to further support these organizations.
We hope you listen to Etan’s speech and reflect on his message on how we as a collective can eradicate systemic racism in all facets of our society. Below is a copy of Etan’s speech. Please spread the word. Big thanks to Etan Thomas for allowing us to use his inspirational words.