I was born, raised, and continue to live in Southern California. Most of my life was spent in the San Fernando Valley, then when I was around 19 I moved to Pasadena (which is in the greater Los Angeles area). Pasadena is about an hour away from San Bernardino. I know people that live really close to the city of San Bernardino.
So we all are probably aware now what happened. Two psychopaths killed a large amount of innocents in a bullet-riddled rampage. As an American I almost expect mass shootings now. What was different here was it was being investigated as “terrorism.” The perpetrators supposedly had ISIS sympathies, and somehow that makes this incident terrorism and not every other mass shooting terrorism.
It gets exhausting turning on the news, but right now is especially hard because my state is being used as political fodder. It’s surreal honestly to see this relatively calm part of California being used as a global diplomacy battering ram.
I debated when to talk about this but I guess now is as good a time as any.
Media, which is what I more or less belong to as a music creator and journalist, has a responsibility to tell the truth. What often happens, however, is the media distorts and sensationalizes. Politicians do the same.
The media and the government wanted me to fear al-Qaeda. Now they want me to fear ISIS. More than anything, they want me to fear my fellow human beings.
I grew up in a pre and post 9/11 America. Mass surveillance. My Arab friends from school getting profiled. Getting into arguments with people who refused to share this country with people they, via their own intolerance, deemed “other” and “unworthy.”
I’m not afraid. I’ll never be afraid. You can jack the terror alert up to its highest levels, I won’t give in.
Music is my release. I wrote the song “to ashes” about the Paris and Beirut attacks, but now it seems San Bernardino can easily be applied.
While mass misinformation is spread, one thing I know is that music is a constant truth. So for the victims and for those who are now in fear for their lives…this song is yours. It’s my offering to whoever needs it.
Take it if you want.