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The Ghost Inside Part Ways With Bassist Over Apparent Past Racial Epithet

on June 08, 2020, 11:05am

The Ghost Inside have made an incredible comeback following a devastating bus crash, but now one of their members will no longer be part of that journey. Bassist Jim Riley has been kicked out of the band because of an apparent past racial epithet that resurfaced in recent days.

This past Friday, The Ghost Inside released their first album since a 2015 crash involving their tour van and a truck left most of the metalcore act’s members with serious injuries, including drummer Andrew Tkaczyk losing a leg. Last year, the band played its first show since the accident, a one-off gig outside The Shrine in Los Angeles.

However, over the weekend, the band announced that it was parting ways with bassist Jim Riley, after he was called out for apparently using the N-word several years back.

The past incident came to light after the band posted a tweet Thursday (June 4th) about their new “What Do You Stand For?” charity t-shirt, with proceeds benefitting the NAACP. In response to the tweet, Rashod Jackson, drummer for the band Bracewar, brought up the 2015 incident, “This is cute. @theghostinside y’all gonna act like your bitch ass bass player didn’t call y’alls bus driver a n**ger that time? I ain’t forget that shit.”

In follow-up tweets Jackson added, “What’s good Jim! The people wanna know. Don’t be a f**king coward speak up. Tell them you said what you said,” followed by, “He knows what he said. Why would I, a black man with everything going on right now make a joke about this. If you think this is a joke then you’re part of the problem.”

Riley then addressed and seemed to confirm the accusation, tweeting on Friday, “Rashod called me out in 2015. I called him, he put the screws to me. I deserved it, and I apologized to him. He told me that wasn’t good enough and he was right. It’s shameful and f**king embarrassing. I present myself as someone who gives a shit about progressive movements and ideas, and I was not living up to that.”

The bassist added, “Because of that conversation I had to take a big f**king look in the mirror and recognize a lot of bullshit that I was selling myself. I made too many excuses for being brought up without exposure to the black experience, and I should have been better. I make a conscious effort to purge stuff about myself that still sucks when I find it, and to be mindful that I’m just a passenger on someone else’s ship in any movement related to black lives. I’m sorry. I know that’s not enough. I’m going to keep doing the work. That might still not be enough. I’m going to do it anyway.”

Jackson responded, “Hey coward….@ me motherf**ker. Apologize to ME. Apologize to my f**king PEOPLE. You were a coward then and an even bigger coward now. As long as you’re in that band, I’ll make sure you NEVER play a show. Mark my words.”

On Saturday, The Ghost Inside announced they were parting ways with Riley, issuing the following statement on Instagram:

“The Ghost Inside was born from a scene of forward thinking, understanding and progressiveness. Our music and message has always been one of hope and finding that light at the end of the tunnel. Racism and bigotry of any kind stifle that journey the light. It closes and locks doors that need to be broken open.

We have decided to part ways with bassist Jim Riley. While we didn’t hear these words spoken directly from his mouth, we did hear mutterings of the incident. At the time we thought this to be just a rumor, but it offended and hurt a community. A community we are meant to bring together.

We should’ve spoken up back then and we didn’t, we should’ve dug deeper. We acknowledge that we were silent. We are self educating and growing and learning as individuals. We are here to say that we as a band fully condemn racism and support the black community in the fight against systemic racism.”

After calling out Riley and The Ghost Inside, Jackson himself has come under fire for past homophobic tweets, in which he used the word “f**got” multiple times. He then issued his own statement, saying in part, “While calling out racist behaviors of The Ghost Inside, the band and their fans brought up some homophobic statements I made years ago. The things I said in the past are not a reflection of the person I am today. I had to unlearn some of my behaviors when it came to the language I was using, and I am aware of how harmful these things are.”

The statements from The Ghost Inside and Rashod Jackson, as well as the string of tweets that ultimately led to Jim Riley’s dismissal from the band can be seen below.

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