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Tragedy hits Astroworld Concert

On Nov. 5, the Astroworld Festival, an annual music festival held by rapper Travis Scott in his hometown of Houston, Texas, quickly turned into an unfortunate event of mass fatality. Ten were killed, including a nine-year-old, and hundreds of others were injured as a large crowd pushed toward the stage. The design of the festival, the lack of staff training and extreme overcrowding were all factors that contributed to this tragedy. Most importantly, the main instigator was Travis Scott himself, who did not stop the show during the stampede and instead actively urged people to “make the ground shake.”

Interestingly, an operations plan for the festival detailed protocols for scenarios including active shooter, terrorist threats, and even severe weather, but not a crowd surge.

Scott has a history of inciting crowds at his performances, and has even been charged for it twice - in Chicago and later in Rogers, AR. Even at AstroWorld 2019, fans had breached barricades and several injuries resulted. When will we start learning from the past? 

Pop quiz: why did I choose to write about the AstroWorld Concert in my blog? Well, the reasons are obvious. Once the dust had settled on the tragic evening, producers of the concert tried to blame fans for their misjudgment of the venue. When you have an audience of 50,000+ that’s significantly skewed towards African-American - I guess it’s easy to find scapegoats.

How long more before we stop making scapegoats of the Hyphenated Americans? The Hyphenated Americans are every bit as American as the next person. They bring in a mixed background and even a mix of races - adding to the diversity of our nation. Their skin colors may vary, they may speak languages that aren’t native to our land, their food habits may also be varied - but that’s exactly what America looks like. Let’s embrace that diversity. Borrowing Scott’s own lyrics, the Hyphenated Americans, clearly, are “no bystanders.”

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