2 December 2017

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New Music Video From Beliefs Project Takes on White Nationalism, Divisive Politics, and Gun Control

Local Artist's Music Video Honors Charlottesville’s Spirit of Unity

Scenes from "In the Streets of Charlottesville" music video
Scenes from "In the Streets of Charlottesville" music video
"In the Streets of Charlottesville" is a new protest music video by multimedia artist/producer Jeff Burger, released on YouTube through the non-profit Beliefs Project he co-founded. 

The song provides savvy commentary on both the violence that turned the bucolic Virginia town into a hashtag, and the underlying themes continuing to tear at the whole nation. 

Based in Charlottesville, Burger was inspired by his community who has responded to hate with love, as echoed in the song's culminating lines: "Now we choose our destiny / unity through diversity."
"I wanted to give people everywhere the deeper story and a paradigm for navigating divisiveness and violence," Burger says. "The song is also helping locals heal open emotional wounds. Ultimately, it's about the urgent need to examine beliefs, and embrace inclusiveness and compassion societally."
Confederate monuments—flash points for white nationalism throughout the South—get their due: "Statues stood and glorified / the whips and chains of Dixie pride / All more troubling now because / they mixed it up with swastikas."

Burger also calls out presidential emboldening of white nationalism in the thinly veiled lines, "When leaders lack accountability / or even common civility / there's always someone else to blame / and the bully pulpit fanned the flames."

America's stalemate over gun violence isn't left off the hook: "Time's upon us we knew would come / when free speech marches with a gun / Amendments beg us what to do / to reconcile numbers one and two."

Burger's one-man production delivers insightful spoken word set to music dynamically evolving from the opening's sparse urban heartbeat and military snares into a full rock anthem finale. He orates in his natural Caucasian voice without pretense of white rap.

 "While I felt the message would be more powerful spoken than sung, an urban voice could be too easily dismissed as just angry and disenfranchised in this racially charged context. White introspection is critical to meaningful healing and progress."
The song reinforces such soul searching in candid lines like "Here's our chance to realize / we all hold our secret lies / Judge brothers for this, sisters for that / Time to take ourselves to the mat."

Burger's self-produced music video elevates the piece to multimedia storytelling art. Eschewing screen appearances, he enhances emotional impact by employing a seamless visual montage intimately reinforcing the lyrics' message.

Jeff Burger, creator "In the Streets of Charlottesville" and co-founder of Beliefs Project
Jeff Burger, creator "In the Streets of Charlottesville" and co-founder of Beliefs Project

About Jeff Burger and Beliefs Project:
Jeff Burger is co-founder of Beliefs Project, a non-profit transmedia project dedicated to the collective evolution of human consciousness. 

An ASCAP songwriter, he is also an accomplished professional in the music and media industries, with clients including Apple, Disney, and Paramount. He has served on the masthead of four music magazines including Electronic Musician and EQ, and penned six books and 500+ articles on media arts.

The Video:


The Lyrics:
In the Streets of Charlottesville

This is the place Heather died
Gave it all to stem the tides
Of anger and hate racing ‘cross the land
As men arrived with guns in hand
Yeah, here’s where they came with rage in their hearts
Here’s where they came to tear us apart
Dressed for war, spoiled for fights
Waving flags righter than right
In the streets of Charlottesville

Statues stood and glorified
Whips and chains of Dixie pride
All more troubling now becuz
They mixed it up with swastikas
After millions paid the ultimate cost
We won’t bring back the holocaust
A classic case of us versus them
Can’t we just live as women and men 
In the streets of Charlottesville

Stay home and pray or call hate out? 
Join the fray, shout down the shouts?
A stand for peace could still transpire
In pouring gas onto a fire 
When leaders lack accountability
Or even common civility
There’s always someone else to blame
And the bully pulpit fanned the flames 
In the streets of Charlottesville

Opening wounds we hoped to ignore
Our oldest issues came to fore
Festering here, simmering there 
Time to come clean, clear the air
Here’s our chance to realize
We all hold our secret lies
Judge brothers for this, sisters for that
Time to take ourselves to the mat
In the streets of Charlottesville

Over and over again we make our battlefields
Have we had enough pain to drop the swords and shields?
Can’t fight hate with hate or fear with fear 
Love’s the only way our children will see all their years

Time's upon us we knew would come
When free speech marches with a gun
Amendments beg us what to do
To reconcile numbers one and two
The man on the screen plays to our fears
Says you’ll lose what you hold dear
Are you left or are you right?
You must see life as black or white
In the streets of Charlottesville

Draw lines here, draw lines there
'Til what’s left are maps of despair
Time we get all blood is red
Time we say enough's been shed
Together we can turn the page
On hate, on anger, on rage
Now we choose our destiny
Unity through diversity
In the streets of Charlottesville...

Words and Music Copyright © 2017 Jeff Burger