Blaming The Crowd For Deaths At Travis Scott’s Astroworld Is Rooted In Racist Misconceptions About Rap

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Travis Scott

Travis Scott’s annual Astroworld festival, which was first created back in 2018, turned fatal on Friday night which led to the deaths of 8 people and hundreds more injured.

The festival garnered around 50,000 attendees but the excitement in the air quickly turned to distress as fans in the crowd started getting crushed against railings and trampled on.

Since videos from the concert emerged on social media, many people have started to voice their opinions on who really is at fault for the disastrous circumstances surrounding Astroworld.

While many people are placing the blame on the lack of attention given to the crowd as people were pleading for Scott to cut the music, others are focusing the blame on the fact that it was a rap concert.

Blaming the Astroworld crowd has racist undertones.

People have taken to Twitter to blame the tragedy on the fact that it happened because of rap and the rap genre, as well as insinuating that this would’ve happened at a predominantly rap based event.

The problem with this sentiment is that an opinion like that is rooted in racism, and generalizes the fact that Black people are the only groups of people who listen to rap.

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The comments of “this would have never happened at a rock/metal concert” or “rappers don’t know how to put on a mosh” are extremely racially-motivated and should not be used as blame factors for the tragedy at Astroworld.

The entire conversation around rap fans only being Black, and Black people being the only consumers of rap music is an outdated and frankly harmful rhetoric to be spreading.

To place the blame of what happened at Astroworld on a music genre and the percentage of people in the crowd who were Black is extremely tone deaf and a horrible way of victim-blaming, especially when the victims were killed.

Let's focus on who is really to blame.

The crowd isn’t to blame, neither is the fact that it was a rap concert, the only factors that are to blame is that there wasn’t enough crowd control, there weren’t enough security and medics, tickets were oversold for the amount of people in the crowd, and that Travis Scott did not stop the show sooner once he noticed paramedics in the crowd.

The people in the crowd were victims, after being put in a situation that went beyond their control and should’ve fallen on the organizers to handle.

If people want to blame Travis Scott for the negligence of his festival, blame it on the fact that he created an environment that led to people dying and becoming injured. 

Don’t blame it on the fact that he’s a Black rapper, or that most of his fans may or may not be Black people.

RELATED: Travis Scott Has Already Been Arrested Twice For Inciting Violence And Injuries At Previous Concerts

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Using racist undertones to try and shift the blame to the people in the crowd, who at the end of the day, are victims themselves, is horrific.

Witnesses at the festival described seeing a massive wave of people surging toward the event’s main stage as a timer counted down to Travis Scott’s performance.

There are also no capacity limits for outdoor events, according to Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Peña, prompting the fest to sell 50,000 tickets for both days.

Paul Wertheimer, the founder of Crowd Management Strategies, told Insider in an interview that the deadly surge was "a preventable disaster."

"People want to be in front of the stage where the artists are, so they tend to move forward. And if you don't manage the crowd, people are going to be crushed," Wertheimer said.

"[Organizers] allowed the event to become overcrowded in front of the stage, which is a known danger area."

With the amount of people reporting on Astroworld, and proving what actually went wrong at the festival, the conversation should not be veering into a race debate.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.