I know that I have fans of my music on all political avenues and boulevards, but if you've listened to my music you know that I am not apologetic in my musical activism. My family and I stayed up rather late last night watching live coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives, and we were deeply moved by the passion and resounding courage of the representatives who decided to take a stand. I want to share some of my thoughts on the matter.
I have spent the last five+ years writing, performing, recording and sharing music that speaks out against the troubles of the world from my point of view. I sing out, inspired by the legacy of so many, but especially by the examples set by the late Pete Seeger who knew that if we could manage to join our voices together, we could change the world. We could shine a light on injustice that would reflect and echo intellectually and emotionally within our communities. These words and music would spread like wildfire. For example, listen to any rendition of We Shall Overcome and witness the power of song -- as Zilphia Horton wrote in her introduction of the song in the People's Songs Bulletin, "Its strong emotional appeal and simple dignity never fails to hit people." Last night, hearing our reps sing a version of that song on the floor of the House -- a song by the people, for the people -- was a serious moment that underlined for me that this was NOT a stunt, as posited by Speaker Ryan, but that this was a moment of Truth.
Hundreds of millions of guns make it unbearably easy to add up the numbers of dead -- 33,000 gun deaths in American in just one year. This is not about protection in the countryside away from law enforcement, or about hunting game in the backwoods of Indiana. Or about "Islamic Radicals" or about the Second Amendment, or about the protection of Due Process. This is truly gun makers protecting their business interests. The NRA is largely funded by gun makers. And in return for this, the NRA actively lobbies our Senators and Representatives, and pursues political support and local legislation across this country to promote the marketplace for the sale and distribution of tools of murder.
Shame. Shame. Shame.
The setup has been long in the making, and even with the technology-media-collapse of our "fourth branch", the press, many have shown ample evidence for all of this. But the problem is that changing a system from within can be an impossibly difficult endeavor. That is why we all must actively add our voice in support of the house minority. It's why we need to flood the phone lines. It's why we need to show up and vote on election day. We all need to sing out. As loud as we can.
I have assembled a bunch of my songs about these issues and more in this free to stream playlist on SoundCloud because these are things I believe with great passion, and I will #HoldTheFloor as long as I am able in my own way. Please join in. Even if you disagree with me about guns (and I know some of you do), participate and speak up, develop a relationship with your community leaders, and maybe even become one yourself.