Celebrities

Josh Levi’s Moving Visual and Letter Changes How the World Views Violence

Josh Levi is an American actor, singer and dancer from Houston, Texas. The artist had a recurring role on the TV series Friday Night Lights and was also a finalist on a season of the TV series The X Factor in 2013. After he was eliminated, Levi returned to the show to participate in the Top 12 of the competition. Levi is also known for being an ex-member of the 2015 band Citizen Føur, which he formed with Carson Boatman, Connor Boatman and fellow X Factor contestant Austin Percario.

Besides all of his accomplishments, Josh is also known for his activism and for speaking up, using his platform — mostly, but not limited to, his social media — to spread positivity, awareness and to tease us about what he’s been up to. On Oct. 2, the singer announced on Twitter that he’d written a letter in response to the massive shooting which occurred in Las Vegas the day before that led to a total of 58 deaths and 546 injuries (which you can read about here). This event also led to the shooter committing suicide for unknown reasons. He shared this thought saying that the only way he could physically cope with the situation was by music, and he shared the title with us as well.

The next week, on Oct. 12, Levi shared on Twitter that his newest project would be visual and in letter form and that it would be coming soon. This tweet, of course, got the fans excited for what was happening.

Later, on Oct. 29, he announced that the release would be on the 4th of November, along with a sneak peak of the video. The same occurred on Nov. 2, when he tweeted “#dearviolence, two days.” along with four pictures also from his visual. And finally, a day before the project was released, we got an eight-second video preview.

As the release day arrived, the fans started a tag on Twitter, where they showed their support toward the artist. The point was to post selfies with the tag to promote and show support for the artist’s newest project.

The performer did not hesitate to show love and support to the fans’ project.

In the video, we are presented with images and videos of news channels announcing what happened in the tragic event. The artist starts his narrative by using the title of his project and telling Violence that he has a lot of things to ask and that “most people won’t even talk to you.” The artist says he gets why that happens, but he can’t understand violence itself. This affirmation is followed by the paradox:

“What do you love about hate? What do you hate about love?”

As well as several questions such as:

“Is it fear? Do you know you’re dangerous to my liberty? To our [black people] liberty?”

These questions are accompanied by videos of protests organized by black people, as well as some videos representing white supremacy (White Lives Matter “protests”). Levi then proceeds to say that he defines his skin as resilient, but violence wants to turn it into a weapon. The same happens with his religion. He also affirms that violence has been around before he was even born, that violence appears to be gone, but it always comes back in new forms and new names such as slavery, war, profiling, bigotry, brutality, mass incarceration and terrorism.

He then proceeds to ask, “How can you watch me cry and be quiet, how can you watch me die and be silent.” The previous questions were possibly directed to the people who didn’t care about violence — those who merely sit around watching the news or reading about it online yet refuse to do something about it or treat it as if the subject doesn’t matter.

Levi finishes his letter by giving a positive message that he believes violence won’t be around much longer — that’s why he’s voicing his thoughts now — and that “unfortunately for you, people and love can do anything.”

You can watch the video below:

Later, on Nov. 5, the artist thanked everyone for showing so much love for his latest project and admitted that it felt amazing to know that the project was out and inspiring people.

I feel like this video should get so much more hype than it does; this is such an important topic, but instead, it doesn’t get talked about and just gets “ignored” for the most part. That’s why I think this video is so important and why it means so much to me.

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