Black Music Coalition Criticizes Industry’s Equity Initiatives; ‘When it Comes to Justice, Average isn’t Good Enough’
According to the new equity watchdogs of the music industry, black artists are not receiving enough recognition in the field. The Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) has been working on annual report cards for the music industry that judge how well they incorporate racial equity initiatives into their business models. They also look into the “diversity” of each company and intend to hold businesses “accountable” while “keeping track of the music industry’s efforts to clean up it’s own house.” Although BMAC granted passing grades for almost every category, they are now complaining that “average isn’t good enough.”
The BMAC decided to release annual “Music Industry Action Report Cards,” following the “grief and outrage” that they experienced following the “murder” of George Floyd. According to the group these tragedies exposed the “systemic racism” in the music industry. An overview of the study was presented during the National Museum of African American Music’s State of Black Music Summit on June 18 in Nashville.
The full study has now been released and the music industry was given passing grades for almost every category. BMAC co-president Binta N. Brown is not satisfied however, she told Billboard that “many of the changes appear to be surface. They appear to be just enough as opposed to manifesting a deep, internal churning and transformational change leading toward true equity. And so many of the grades are merely passing. When it comes to justice, average isn’t good enough.”
Each of the entertainment businesses and streaming services included in the report were given letter grades for four different sections: “Initial corporate statement, Company representation on a senior executive level, Execution/ follow up on commitments, and Additional actions that lead to sustainable change of structures and systems.”
The 37-page report has five major sections and includes a foreword and introduction called “taking account.” The first section explains the grading scale and the reason behind their report. “Companies did a fair job of visibly amplifying Black voices and causes and putting money back into Black communities and Black organizations over the last year,” stated the introduction. “However, the point is to now hold companies to the task of sustained investment and change.” According to the authors, the industry is long “overdue for a standard, public measurement of how their practices impact the Black lives, including executives, artists and the communities they come from.”
They performed these measurements by looking at the color of everyone’s skin and different “justice initiatives” that were enacted by 20 different companies around the country. Of course they admitted that only five executives from three different companies answered their survey. I guess we’re just supposed to believe that this is reliable data.
They make sure to clarify that the industry is against ‘equity,’ rather than equality. It’s not actually about fairness and equal opportunity. They want everyone to end up in the same spot regardless of work ethic, or at least all colored people, because God forbid a white person be successful at something.
The BMAC was established in June 2020, with the mission of “advancing racial diversity, equity and inclusion in the music industry.”
Instead of measuring people and companies based on their skill sets, we are regressing back to times where everyone was judged by their physical appearances. That’s not a world that anyone should want to live in.