Business

Music Industry Groups Call for Trump's Removal: 'Americans Are in Fear'

U.S Capitol
Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Tear gas outside the U.S Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Following a deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol building this week by supporters of President Donald Trump, a trio of music industry organizations are urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to quickly remove the president from office.

In a letter addressed to Pence on Thursday (Jan. 7), leaders of the Music Artists Coalition (MAC), Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) and Songwriters of North America (SONA) begin by outlining Wednesday's events, during which several thousand Trump loyalists protested President-elect Joe Biden's victory by storming the Capitol, resulting in at least five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer. Many have since pointed out that the tepid response from law enforcement officers -- who were captured on video taking selfies with and even parting barricades for rioters, the majority of whom were white -- is a stark contrast to the rubber bullets and batons used against nationwide Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.

"Not only is this a matter of upholding and enforcing our laws, but it is also a matter of ensuring that individuals who break the law and who trample the Constitution with the aim of denying civil liberties must not be treated more gingerly than those of us who advocate for our civil liberties, human rights, and the promise of the Constitution," the letter reads. "[...] Equal justice requires that when individuals commit federal felonies, particularly in plain sight, they are brought to justice."

The letter goes on to declare that Trump "is undoubtedly responsible for this unprecedented riot, as he has continued to allege without basis that the presidential election was fraudulent and has repeatedly incited inhumane behavior from his supporters since the commencement of his presidency."

"Please do not let President Trump continue to serve as the leader of our country while Americans are in fear of what Trump supporters will do next to carry out President Trump’s legacy of injustice," the letter finishes. "The President’s anti-American actions must be met with swift action by those seeking to preserve democracy."

The letter is signed by SONA executive director Michelle Lewis, MAC board member/secretary Jordan Bromley and BMAC co-chairmen Binta Brown and Willie "Prophet" Stiggers. It joins calls from Democrats and some Republicans for Trump administration officials to invoke the 25th Amendment, with less than two weeks to go in Trump's presidency. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have also called for impeachment proceedings to remove Trump from office.

Read the letter in full below.

The Honorable Michael R. Pence
Vice President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

RE: Demand for Action in Response to Insurrection at the Capitol

Dear Vice President Pence,

In light of the recent riots by Trump supporters on Capitol Hill, the executive board members of Songwriters of North America (“SONA”), Black Music Action Coalition (“BMAC”), and Music Artists Coalition (“MAC”), are writing to implore you to (a) bring the individuals involved in the recent riots to justice, and (b) invoke the 25th Amendment to have President Donald Trump removed from office immediately.

On January 6, 2021, Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol in violent protest of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. This protest soon became a riot, which resulted in four (4) deaths, fifty-two (52) arrests, and fourteen (14) injured police officers.

As such, we demand that all of the individuals who were involved in yesterday's raid on the Capitol be apprehended and charged to the fullest extent of the law. Not only is this a matter of upholding and enforcing our laws, but it is also a matter of ensuring that individuals who break the law and who trample the Constitution with the aim of denying civil liberties must not be treated more gingerly than those of us who advocate for our civil liberties, human rights, and the promise of the Constitution. To let individuals off with a pat on the wrist, or merely losing their jobs is insufficient. Equal justice requires that when individuals commit federal felonies, particularly in plain sight, they are brought to justice.

Moreover, President Trump is undoubtedly responsible for this unprecedented riot, as he has continued to allege without basis that the presidential election was fraudulent and has repeatedly incited inhumane behavior from his supporters since the commencement of his presidency. In what can be reasonably seen as an act of sedition, President Trump ignored widespread calls to condemn his supporters and their violent conduct, instead continuing to call the election “stolen” and telling his rioting supporters “We love you. You’re very special.”

SONA, BMAC, and MAC stand in support of this letter and its demands. As advocacy organizations, SONA, BMAC, and MAC cannot stand in the face of injustice and will not accept President Trump’s and his supports direct attack on democracy.

Please do not let President Trump continue to serve as the leader of our country while Americans are in fear of what Trump supporters will do next to carry out President Trump’s legacy of injustice. The President’s anti-American actions must be met with swift action by those seeking to preserve democracy.

Sincerely,

Michelle Lewis
Executive Director, SONA

Jordan Bromley
Board Member/Secretary, MAC

Binta Brown
Co-Chairman, BMAC

Willie “Prophet” Stiggers
Co-Chairman, BMAC