Musical interlude 2: Jack and the racists

Jack Vidgen is an interesting young man in Sydney Australia. In 2011 at the age of 14 he won Australia’s Got Talent.  In September that year he came down to Wollongong. I recorded the event.

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In the years since Jack almost disappeared for a while, though I kept an eye on his social media.  He weathered controversy about his appearance and about his sexuality, which in recent times he has made no secret of. He got to the finals of The Voice in a comeback year 2019, and appeared on America’s got talent soon after. He was a finalist in the search for an Australian entry in Eurovision 2020.

 

Through all this I can’t remember a political post, until now. It is on his Facebook site.

It was a hard pill to swallow when i started being educated about racism and started realizing that even though I didn’t think I was racist in any way, a lot of the things i said and also DIDN’T say were racist. I was 19 when a friend pulled me up on something I said. Looking back now, I can’t believe it came out of my mouth, but at the time I was so ignorant and uneducated, I didn’t think it was racist or prejudice. My point is, if you don’t understand/agree with myself and millions of people posting about how BLACK LIVES DO MATTER, please educate yourself. Research. Google. Read books. Talk to friends who you know are anti-racist because i know being told you’re racist or something that you say is racist can feel like an attack, but looking back you’ll be so grateful for that educational source as I am to my friend that pulled me up years ago. I’m still learning about systemic racism and just how ingrained it is in society. I’m not going to pretend to even begin to understand how people of colour are feeling right now and have always felt but I just want to say I love you and I stand with you. I want you to feel safe and loved. You unquestionably have my support. #blacklivesmatter

That is admirable.

But as you can imagine that post and others around early June 2020 have attracted many comments, including some from people in the USA who clearly are part of Trump’s base. Some of these are so mind-blowingly awful that I just can’t bring myself to link to them. If you want to explore, go to Jack’s Facebook. I should add that most of the comments are supportive of Jack’s statement. As of course am I.

Yesterday also another aspect of the ambient racism led to more music, this time from CCTV-3, the art focused channel of the CCTV (China Central Television) Network in the People’s Republic of China.

I wrote:

China’s new voice generation Li Chengyu Tam Zhiyun 77,165,104 views since Oct 6, 2015. [That is a translation of the video’s title.]

When the Secret Garden produced the song “You Raise Me Up” in 2001, they may never have expected over a decade later, a kid duo hit a Chinese singing talent show by storm with their version of this inspirational song.

So this is the enemy then? #racismnoway Yes Michael, it does make one rather hate all politics and politicians!

The singers are still around. The boy, 10 at the time of the video, is Jeffery Li (14) living in Canada, and the girl, 7 at the time, is Celine Tam (11) living in Hong Kong. I shared the post with M who said: “Thanks Neil, very good Chinese kids.”  Enjoy: