Remembering when David Byrne silenced President Donald Trump with one brilliant playlist
Long time hero and champion of the arts, David Byrne, once made a very serious point. In the wake of a US leader who sees fit to make minorities feel unwanted, unimportant and essentially sub-human, David Byrne is being the President we’d all prefer.
The former Talking Heads frontman made a political statement with his new album American Utopia, a record which looks deep at the societal change of The United States. It’s an album which produced countless hits and ultimately found its way on to Broadway.
Moving away from any possibility of obscurity, firmly drawing his line in the sand, Byrne once created a new playlist entitled ‘The Beautiful Shitholes’ which was made up exclusively of artists from developing regions. It arrived shortly after President Trump said he didn’t want immigrants from “shithole countries” in reference to South American and African states.
Byrne’s tastefully and beautifully composed playlist shows Trump’s ignorance and bigotry in a new light. It does this by not bashing his image or promises but instead highlighting the beauty in the human race – not just the American people.
The playlist comes with a full statement you can read below.
The Beautiful Shitholes
“I assume I don’t have to explain where the shithole reference came from.
“Here’s a playlist that gives just the smallest sample of the depth and range of creativity that continues to pour out of the countries in Africa and the Caribbean. It is undeniable. Can music help us empathize with its makers?
“For me, Trump is not the issue. We know and have known for a long time that he is racist. That is a fact, borne out by plenty of evidence. It’s not news—we know what he is.
“What is truly disturbing is the Republicans who go along with this person. Their behavior makes them complicit and the same as he is…exactly the same, no difference. Remember that come voting time.
“The swells in Davos too—who are happy to get rich off Trump’s policies and are more than fine supporting a racist. None of them has risen to condemn his racism and to say that this man does not represent our values as human beings.
“Got that off my chest, now maybe I can listen to some music.