Dear Capitol Records Nashville,
When firefighters came to protest at your building in support of Ronnie Milsap and Bleve Music, you forced them away. My guess is they would have not met the same reception if the building was on fire, and you or your family were inside. Yet your actions are precluding dollars from the firefighter’s families if they died trying to save you or your family. And these aren’t hypotheticals. The reason these funds are needed is because 343 firefighters lost their lives on 9/11 trying and succeeding to save thousands of lives of people just like you, people going to work everyday in a high rise building. And even then, even in the face of this cutting irony, I have no doubt that if Capitol Records Nashville went ablaze, those firefighters wouldn’t blink once risking their lives like they do every day to come pull your greedy bacon out of the fire.
What kind of disease of the soul would make someone take this stance, make someone so grossly overlook their sense of decency, community, and family? How do you live like this? And if you draw the moral line somewhere past withholding money from the families of fallen firefighters and police officers, what kind of other malevolent deeds can your lawyers help you justify?
This isn’t about music anymore, it is way beyond that. It isn’t even about freedom of speech. This reaches beyond all of these trappings of culture and country to the moral fabric that joins every single last person on our planet together and that expresses itself in compassion and empathy. If you came upon somebody who really needed help, would you help them? And if someone helped you, would you say “Thank you”?
I do not have any firefighters or police in my immediate or extended family, or any that are friends or neighbors. But what I do have is this: About 11 years ago I was in a major car accident. Luckily I didn’t have a passenger or they would have died. My truck was crumpled all around me, so much so that my knees were touching my chest, and my teeth had bit clean through the bottom of my lower lip. They had to cut me out with the jaws of life, and use a dust buster to vacuum the windshield glass out of the flesh wounds in my arms. I still have the scars to this day. And even though they delivered me to the hospital fully strapped down to a gurney as a precaution, before I left that ambulance, with the little I could move my hand, I grabbed the wrist of that first responder with a serious enough grip that he looked me straight in the eyes, and I simply said “Thank You.”
I told myself as I was being wheeled into the hospital that I would write a personal “Thank You” letter to each of the people on that first responder crew, but life goes on and it never happened. We rarely get opportunities to sit back and give thanks for the essential things in life, like the people who serve and protect. But luckily Bleve Records and Ronnie Milsap have given all of us this opportunity through something we all can enjoy guilt free: music. So please Capitol Records Nashville, take a moment and think about it, and take advantage of this opportunity to just simply say “Thank You” to the people who risk their lives every day.
And if you don’t, then I pray for your sake that you lose this fight. Not just because I personally want to see Bleve Records prevail, but because as one human feeling compassion and empathy for another, I would hate for you to have to look back years later after this event and feel the guilt that your decision regarding this case will undoubtedly create.