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Alice In Chains’ William DuVall: ‘We Have Before Us a Golden Opportunity’

William DuVall
Buda Mendes, Getty Images

Yesterday (Dec. 5), Diffuser and several other music news outlets reported on an upsetting tweet from Alice In Chains vocalist and guitarist, William DuVall. In the message, DuVall recalled a time when he was detained by California police simply for entering his house — the rocker utilized the #AliveWhileBlack hashtag to join in on a nationwide conversation about race.

While it initially appeared like DuVall’s run-in with the police was recent, we quickly learned that it actually happened several years ago. Earlier this morning, he shared a follow-up tweet:

Fortunately, it appears that DuVall received an “outpouring of support from friends and strangers” — but he’s quick to make sure the public knows that his story is only a “fraction of the millions more we will never hear.” In his heartfelt note, DuVall says, “We can’t afford to idle and we can’t fall back now. We have before us a golden opportunity to take yet another step forward.”

Read his full statement below:

First of all, let me express my heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of support I’ve received from friends and strangers alike over the last 24 hours. I am truly humbled and deeply moved. By way of clarification, the incident I described took place several years ago. I was inspired to recount it after reading the many #AliveWhileBlack and #CrimingWhileWhite posts coming up on Twitter yesterday. In my view, those entries provide one of the most riveting illustrations of the dichotomy at the heart of America that I have ever seen. What really struck me is the fact that those stories flooding in by the thousands are merely a fraction of the millions more we will never hear. These are the “small” stories, the “everyday” stories, the ones so deeply woven into the fabric of our lives that they almost become mundane. And therein lies the true nature and scope of the problem. The fact is, I have many more incidents in my life like the one I shared yesterday. But I am doing far better than most. I just wanted to lend my voice to the growing chorus. Because what’s most tragic and sobering to me about ALL of these stories – whether they fall into the more graphically horrific category of an Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, or Michael Brown or whether they are of the more “mundane” variety like many of the ones currently being shared on Twitter, including my own – is that, almost without exception, any of them could have just as easily taken place 50 years ago. We have made tremendous strides as a nation, many of them in my own lifetime. I remain extremely proud of that. In the name of our ancestors who sacrificed so much to get us here and our children who will inherit this earth in our wake, we can’t afford to idle and we can’t fall back now. We have before us a golden opportunity to take yet another step forward. For all our sakes, I sincerely hope we seize it.

Alice In Chains’ most recent record, ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,’ has been out since May 28, 2013. It finds the band at their most socially active; in an interview with the album came out, guitarist and lead songwriter Jerry Cantrell said, “There are two things you never want to get into a conversation or argument about: politics and religion. But f–k, I guess we’re going to be talking about this for awhile.”

He goes on, “The human element seems to f–k it up. It seems to f–k up the basic truths of acceptance, loving your brother, helping each other out, not trying to kill each other or steal each other’s s–t.”

We’re guessing when the times comes for album No. 6, Alice In Chains will have even more to say on this topic.

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