P!nk Posts Provocative ‘America Is a Gun’ Poem: ‘Art is Meant to Cause Dialogue’


P!nk's most recent album is titled Hurts 2B Human and on Monday (Aug. 5) -- in the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio -- she reminded her followers on Twitter what one of the most important parts of being human is: talking and listening to each other. 

First, the singer took to Instagram to repost a poem by Brian Bilston called "America is a Gun." The piece finds the British poet trafficking in stereotypes in order to make a devastating point about the one that now sticks to the U.S. like a scarlet letter. "England is a cup of tea/ France, a wheel of ripened brie/ Greece, a short, squat olive tree/ America is a gun," reads the first stanza. It ends with the lines: "Japan is a thermal spring/ Scotland is a highland fling/ Oh, better to be anything/ than America as a gun." 

P!nk's tweet of the poem sparked some backlash from Fox News contributor Britt McHenry, who wrote, "There is nothing 'better' to be than an American. In our turmoil, weaknesses, struggle, unit is what we need now. I believe that @pink. America is the country that loves you and helped make you into a star. As a fan of your music, this disappoints me."

"I believe there is nothing 'better' than being a human being," P!nk responded. "Each country has their beauty,+their struggles. We should all be thinking humans first. And I also believe art is meant to cause dialogue, which the posting of this poem just did. Dissent is the cornerstone of democracy." 

According to Newsweek, Bilston first posted the poem in Feb. 2016, but it gained renewed interest following this weekend's dual mass shootings, during which two young men used military-style assault rifles to attack unsuspecting shoppers in a Texas Walmart store and diners in an entertainment district in Ohio, killing at least 31 and injuring dozens of others. The 21-year-old Texas shooter was apprehended by police, who say he was allegedly motivated by anti-Hispanic, racist beliefs he laid out in a hate-filled online manifesto. The 24-year-old Ohio gunman used a high-capacity rifle to kill nine people -- including his own sister -- and injure more than 34 during a 30-second blitz of gunfire before police killed him.

Over the past few days, P!nk has posted a number of comments critical of Pres. Trump in the wake of the 250th and 251st mass shootings this year. In one, she reposted Rihanna's scathing commentary on Trump's tweeted reaction to the two massacres, as well as singer/songwriter and frequent collaborator Butch Walker's take on what it will take to stop the daily mass shootings in this country and Snoop Dogg's homage to one of the heroes in El Paso.

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