Politically speaking, 2016 is one of the most polarizing years in recent history. Aside from the presidential race, which is a whole other thing, the Black Lives Matter movement has proven to be a sensitive topic. Gorilla Biscuits found that out this weekend at Philly’s This Is Hardcore Festival when, before launching into “Degradation,” Anthony “Civ” Civarelli said the following:
“In 2016 people still have to wear shirts that say ‘Black Lives Matter’. No shit. Brown, white, yellow, black, we all fucking matter. Everybody here matters. Do not let the media, schools, institutions, influence you. We are one family, one people.”
Civarelli, as well as Gorilla Biscuits and CIV, has never had any kind of remotely racist lyrics, and accusing him of jumping on the “all lives matter” bandwagon would be one hell of a conclusion to jump to. That didn’t stop Noisey from doing so, and he was also guilty in the court of public opinion, with Twitter and Facebook users branding Civorelli as racist. He responded on Facebook:
The thing is, it’s not out of the realm of impossibility to think a hardcore band might be anti-Black Lives Matter, as the message of the movement has gotten diluted. Peacefully protesting police shootings of black people has led to violence at protests and policemen getting killed by some using the movement as an excuse to act out. And while the “all lives matter” retort comes off as intolerant to the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s pretty obvious from Civorelli’s words and his bands’ positive message, as well as the lyrics to “Degradation” that he doesn’t remotely mean that. He shouldn’t need to apologize, but he did, so everyone can just move on. Read the lyrics to “Degradation” below the video if you still don’t get it.
Tell me who’s pure.
Tell me who’s right
Tell me the last time that you fought a fair fight.
A loser’s way to find some friends,
you look like a skin but that’s where it ends.
True, they’re always at our shows,
It doesnt mean we fit in with their hatred and racism shit.
They ruin our name, you know what I mean.
Racial supremicists degrade our scene.
You know you can kiss my ass before I read your ‘zine
There’s no good side to this white power scene.
Kids beat down for standing up.
Your turn will come because we’ve all had enough.
You look like kids we know.
You’re not welcome here.
You don’t play music and we don’t play fear.
I guess it’s your right to be proud that you’re white.
Are you here for music or just to pick fights?
Don’t fool you self cause you don’t fool me.
It’s not just blacks you hate,
It’s everyone you see.
Rich, poor, young and Old, whoever’s in you way.
What a boring life, hating every day.
YOU”VE GOT NOTHING BUT HATRED!