KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Radio stations across the nation suspended regular programming this afternoon to pay tribute to George Floyd.
Music and media are being used to unify and heal a country in pain.
Spontaneous protests following the death of Floyd have become common in cities across the nation.
And on Tuesday radio stations honored Floyd by reminding listeners just how long he suffered.
For eight minutes and 46 seconds, 107.3 FM joined other stations owned by Cumulus and Westwood One in remembering those who are believed to have died because of racism.
“I think for the first time in the last 55 to 60 years we have the entire world’s attention when it comes to this issue,” said Darron Story, an on-air personality at 107.3 FM. “I hope Kansas City can be one of those leaders in the nation in taking a look at what we have done in the past, and hopefully where we have fallen short. We can make changes and do better and go forward.”
Using a musical backdrop and spiritual songs, the tribute included reading names of other alleged victims including: Breona Taylor, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.
Listeners are urged to reflect on the loss of lives and consider what they can do to eliminate systemic racism.
“I think it’s a perfect response for what we do,” Story said. “We are a content company. We have to provide information. Also entertainment. But this time we are really trying to wake people up as they sit there in their cars or if they are in their office. They will all realize how long 8 minutes and 46 seconds is.”
As those leading the protests work to change society, Story believes music will play an important role in bringing together people of good conscience.
Injustice captured on video sparked such a strong reaction that those who choose to ignore it, do so at their own risk of being left behind in a movement determined to enact reforms.