Basslines and Protest Signs Part 50: Trapt in Privilege

By | May 20, 2020 at 2:30 PM
Photo via Facebook

The concept of white privilege is, in reality, not debatable. Unfortunately, far too many people hear those words and jump to the defensive, as if they are personally under attack. “White Privilege? If there’s some available, I’ll take it,” they bark. “I’ve had to work hard for every damn thing I have.”

Obviously, white privilege doesn’t mean that things come easy for all white people. Nobody thinks that a white small business owner isn’t busting their ass to keep their business afloat (and we’re talking about before the pandemic, though the current situation has certainly made things tougher). Rather, a person of color would have to work even harder to achieve the same level of success if society does indeed allow it to be attainable at all. It’s not easy for white people but it’s harder for people of color.

And again, we should all know this by now. We should all be working to level the playing field, because equality for all doesn’t equal oppression for some. The American Dream shouldn’t be restricted based on skin color. It’s not “white guilt” or “self-flagellation” to point these issues out. Smart people know not to feel under the cosh, but rather to get up and help.

Chris Taylor Brown of the band Trapt is not a smart guy.

Make no mistake, Brown is a very, very bad person. He regularly tweets with a hashtag whiteprivilegedoesnotexist, and then tries to disguise his racism and general trolling hatred as patriotism. It’s not. 

Trapt performing in 2013 (photo via Roberta / Wikimedia Commons)

If he’s trying to raise the profile of his nu-metal band, then it’s working. We’re guilty of writing about him right now, and he’s been picking up some fans from within MAGA circles. Just in time, in fact, for the release of a new album in June and a new single, “Make it Out Alive”. 

“‘Make It Out Alive’ was the last song written for our new album Shadow Work and I hope it inspires people to never give up,” says Brown in the press release. “Times can get so tough and it can be easy to just want to let go of all the struggle. But I think the struggles we go through define us. Each crisis we go through, staring into an abyss of the unknown, makes us stronger when we come out the other side. I know that we will come out stronger, as a country and as a world, through the current crisis we find ourselves battling and every other crisis that comes our way in the future. We always do!”

Which is fine on face value, but for the fact that Brown has taken to social media to undermine scientists at every opportunity, calling Dr. Anthony Fauci a “quack” and “deep state” while pedaling dangerous conspiracy theories and non-solutions to COVID-19.

Then there was his bizarre attack on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

“Andrew Cuomo says Trump needs to push corps harder to make anti body tests by using  Defense Production Act! Says “if I could, I would” Buddy, NO ONE who has said “Make America Great Again?? America was never that great,” will EVER be President! It’s YOUR fault NY has most cases!”

Brown has many beefs on Twitter at this point. He quickly found that the majority of people within the metal and metalcore community are on the left, and they were quick to condemn Brown’s bullshit. But the guy marched on like a turd in a wedding dress store, sullying everything he brushed up against. He was convinced that the economy should have opened up again on May 1, and was doing all he could to rally his “troops.” 

“Trapt vs metal/metalcore Twitter wars have been fun but the real goal is Trump 2020 & opening up the economy ASAP I want it open by May 1. I’ll do what I can 2 prove that the shutdown is GOING 2 B worse than the virus itself if it goes any longer. Great Depression killed millions.”

But you could still argue that his opinions are entirely his own, that he has the country’s best interests at heart, that he has a right to vote for Trump and be a Republican. He has that freedom. Sadly, it’s a freedom that he doesn’t seem to believe is restricted for others. In a YouTube video, he discusses white privilege with Michael Ace Gajewsk of Aeracoi:

“I just say white privilege doesn’t exist,” he begins. “Some of it… there’s no doubt that white people have more of a… they came here hundreds of years ago and built upon that for generations that African-Americans just didn’t have. But when I get into a debate about white privilege, it never goes anywhere. People are like… look, I wasn’t a part of slavery. I’ve never not given someone a job. I’ve never done that, this.” But then the press is like, ‘It doesn’t matter — you’re racist because you’re white.’ I’ve seen so many articles like that and it just doesn’t go anywhere. For me it’s like, we’re all Americans and we should all look at each other as Americans no matter what your heritage is, or your background. Race, religion or any of that stuff. We all want to be successful and prosperous, and there are many ways to do that.”

Problematic on many levels, although he tried to pull back at the end. His social media doesn’t reflect that. He’s been openly transphobic and homophobic. But above all: Saying “white privilege doesn’t exist” is a racist statement. It just is. Headstrong or not.