Resonance of Resistance: Week 2
January 27: Mother of Exiles Mourns
January 27, 2016
To begin our second week, I add the song Brave by Sara Bareilles. (Genius Lyrics)As I scrolled through my Facebook feed this morning, there, in the middle of the outcry and outrage about Trump’s Executive Order indefinitely suspending admission of Syrian refugees into the U.S. and limiting the flow of other refugees and immigrants from a list of several majority Muslim countries with a policy of “extreme vetting,” continuous push back on the Suicide Squad- esque cabinet nominations, and a variety of articles linking Trump to both fascism and narcissistic personality disorder, my friend Michael Dunlea embedded this important reminder:
As Educational Leaders we are called to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. This song takes on new meaning in light of the policies of fear and hate that we see coming out of Washington daily. It’s time to be Brave.
Thank you, Michael ❤
Because it seems like one song is just not enough to get me through today, I offer Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) from The Hamilton Mixtape.
From the intro:
You know, and it gets into this whole issue of border security, you know, who’s gonna say that the borders are secure? We’ve got the House and the Senate debating this issue, and it’s… it’s really astonishing that in a country founded by immigrants, “immigrant” has somehow become a bad word. So the debate rages on and we continue….
And just like that it’s over, we tend to our wounded, we count our dead,
Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom…
Not yet. (Genius Lyrics)
January 28, 2017
And the white folks like to pretend it’s not
But their music’s in the air . . .
They say we’ve been looking for illegal immigrants
Can we check your car?
I say you know it’s funny
I think we were on the same boat back in 1694
And I said Ooo la la la la la la la la SHAME ON YOU!
I am positively ashamed of the actions taken this weekend with regard to the immigration and refugee ban. Conversely, I do take great pride in the way average citizens, with no preparation or organizing structure, showed up to stand up against this unlawful executive order — together.
The Indigo Girls song Shame On You is an appropriate choice to match the conservative positions on immigration, and many other points on the current agenda. In fact, in its inception the song evolved into a criticism of the sometimes less than enlightened perspective our southern states espouse on immigration. It celebrates Chicano culture and criticizes efforts championed by conservatives to curb illegal immigration as largely racist and hypocritical. (Genius Lyrics)
January 29, 2017
Ohio, by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young was a choice inspired by a thorough Twitter thread traveling about the internet on Sunday evening. A flashpoint of opposition for the left; a dog whistle for the right. Could the administration be building a case — an excuse to justify a violent move against the opposition? Violence against American people protesting as a duty and responsibility of citizenship? Frightening proposition, but not something that seems all that far fetched these days. Ohio is a song that points back to a time when the government did just this, the Kent State Massacre. Most disturbing was the community reaction to the shooting. As those on the right condemn all protests, marches, and demonstrations and continue to support and demand support from the left for this hateful administration, this conversation gave me pause and inspired the addition of this song to the playlist. (Genius Lyrics)
I encourage you to click through and read the thread below. What if …?
January 30, 2017
Solange’s Mad is a soulful piece. Here’s the thing . . . I have a right to be mad and I’ve about had it with people telling me I should get over it, give it a chance, buy into the program, etc. I’m about fed up with the epithets of sore loser, snowflake, libtard, and the like. And to put this into perspective, there are so many people out there who have so much more to be mad about than I do. I see that very clearly these days. Real life has been a siege on our very values. One can truly be psychologically destroyed by the insanity, hypocrisy, and hate in their newsfeed. The epic battle with trolls and the legions of sheep attempting to defend the inhumane ideological platform of this administration is maddening. There is just so much overwhelming the senses. I know . . . the plan is to keep us spinning and distracted, responding to attack after attack. It’s their strategy and activist burn-out is real! That’s their end game.
Solange reminds us that we do have a right to be angry. We’re entitled to our strong emotions because we’re reacting to injustice in the world. But carrying that burden every minute of every day can be painful. We have no choice but to react and act. In an effort to push through an unpopular agenda, they move to strip our rights in the most vile ways. We have to be loud and tell them why we’re mad — get it off our chests — explain again and again why it is so frustrating that so many Americans cannot or will not see the source of our frustrations. Then we must learn to let it go. We must remember to take a break, unplug, and recharge because this fight has only just begun. We have to know our limits and not feel guilty about temporarily checking out for some sanity and positivity. Easier said than done, for sure, but it’s important because if we don’t, it will eat us alive.
Always remember, we do not have to accept this. Focus on what you can control and the ways you can make a small but significant difference. Channel your emotion into action. And practice self-care as often as necessary so you can be ready to step into the ring — fired up and ready to go! (Genius Lyrics)
January 31, 2017
My patience is running thin with this administration — and we’re only midway through week 2. I might wake up feeling some semblance of normalcy, but soon the angst of the trash tweets and reports of new aggressive actions buzzing past at every turn has me about to explode. We might make a genuine effort to stay positive and focus on the good, but some days it’s much harder than it sounds. Rihanna captures this feeling in FourFiveSeconds. She’s had enough. She feels someone is taking advantage of her kindness . . . mistaking it for weakness. She seems to be daring her antagonist to provoke her rage so she can clap back. Caution — you don’t want to be on the receiving end of this discontent. (Genius Lyrics)
And …today, as expected, the Senate committee voted to approve the confirmation of Betsy Devos, a billionaire who is a loyal and regular donor to Republican party politics and the most categorically unqualified nominee for Secretary of Education in history. She has no experience with public schools on any level or with student loans. She is a staunch advocate for charter schools and school choice, in favor of privatizing education. She has destroyed all of the schools she has touched in Michigan and, more substantively, does not know even the basics about education law or regulation, systems of accountability, or criteria for evaluation. The beginning of the end for public education? While DeVos is not yet officially confirmed, I have little faith in Republican Senators to stand up and do the right thing. Finding three with integrity feels nearly impossible. Today I add Pink Floyd’s, Another Brick in the Wall in anticipation of what may come for teachers and students. May the odds be ever in your favor! Call your senators a few more times, tweet, fax, send postcards, visit — just in case we might still be able to save education on the floor.(Genius Lyrics — Pt 1)(Genius Lyrics — Pt 2)(Genius Lyrics — Pt 3)
I don’t need no arms around me
And I don’t need no drugs to calm me
I have seen the writing on the wall
Don’t think I need anything at all
No! Don’t think I’ll need anything at all
All in all it was all just bricks in the wall
All in all you were all just bricks in the wall
February 1, 2017
How do I feel about Donald’s unqualified billionaire club cabinet nominations elbowing their way into our government? How do I feel about Donald’s Supreme Court nominee? How do I feel about the spineless, Republican-led Congress? Twenty One Pilots’ Heathens sums it up pretty well. As I watch Republicans bully and build their new administration, with a convenient bout of amnesia regarding their precedent-setting obstructionism, I believe I’m witnessing the composition of a real life Suicide Squad — the recruitment of some of the most dangerous super-villains to be “entrusted” with the preservation of our democracy. No knowledge. No experience. No social grace. But plenty of money and influence and an agenda to destroy the very departments they will be sworn to lead. Trifling.
February 2, 2007
Yesterday, I had the distinct “pleasure” of watching Donald, sandwiched between Ben Carson and Omarosa and flanked by a cadre of Black community leaders, who also happen to be his political supporters (This, I will never understand?), have a Black History Month chit chat — Er . . . listening session. A listening session . . .
He talked about his tremendous election win, Ben Carson’s new job (no one could be better than a clueless brain surgeon at Housing and Urban Affairs), the fake news about the removal of the MLK bust from the oval office by the disgraceful press, and black men and women who defended him on television, as well as a few other names of historical Black leaders like Rosa Parks and Frederick Douglass — who Donald may or may not believe is alive today, which he wrote down on his paper because he doesn’t actually know who they are. He also mentioned how CNN is fake news but FOX treats him nice, Ben’s bigly work in the inner cities, how well he did with the African American communities he wasn’t familiar with during the election, how nice and helpful Omarosa is (something most people don’t know), among other fantastic and tremendous sundry items like the out of control violence in Chicago (where he’s planning to send the Feds to solve the problem. . . apparently something the Black community in Chicago wants). In case it wasn’t clear, he mentioned the media are dishonest people and the enemy — a biased, disgraceful opposition party. Oh, and he clarified — again — that he won. It turns out this entire transcript has gone viral. Please take the time to read it for yourself. You can see it here and, for fun, compare it to last year’s honorable address by President Barack Obama. I know I had some fun with my analysis . . .
I added Common’s & John Legend’s Glory , from the motion picture Selma, today because this Trumpian Black History Month speech was a disgrace. If you plan to speak about Black History, it would certainly be helpful to know a little Black History — and possibly be far less egocentric and narcissistic. This dumpster fire was soon followed by a Tweet from Mr. Pence honoring a white man, Abraham Lincoln, to ring in #BlackHistoryMonth.
Inspired by the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches and the Civil Rights Movement in general, the song reaches from the past into the modern day to the protests in Ferguson, MO. The lyrics of this song are triumphant because we have come so far with regard to civil rights, justice, and equality in America. Yet, juxtaposed is an urgency reminding the listener there is so much more work to do — for all of us. Glory ties the work of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the social justice battles of society today. If Black Americans, and Black History, are to be honored this month, Glory does a far better job than Donald and his minions. (Genius Lyrics)
Now the war is not over, victory isn’t won
But we’ll fight on to the finish, and when it’s all done
We’ll cry glory
February 3, 2017
Bob Marley’s Redemption Song reminds us to sing songs of freedom, because music will help carry us through the difficult times. Marley takes us back to the time of American slavery, when the spiritual was a symbolic protest and source of strength. And while racism, xenophobia, misogyny, ignorance, laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and perhaps even court decisions continue to stifle, oppress, and strip us of rights and freedoms, Marley serenades us with the words of Marcus Garvey, reminding us that no one can enslave the mind. The mind is free and it is our most powerful weapon in this new America — so keep your mind right and keep moving forward. Karma is real and people do reap what they sow. Even still, we cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. Won’t you help to sing?
I know Bob Marley is a legend, but I really love Tessanne Chin’s cover of Redemption Song. I included it here as a more modern spin on this beautiful song and because it makes me happy. I hope you like it too! (Genius Lyrics)
Do you have songs you rely on to help you survive Trump? What music resonates with you and moves you to action?
I’d love to hear about the music inspiring and sustaining you, the beats and lyrics motivating you to take action, and the sounds that give you solace and peace. Please comment and let me know what you’re listening to in the age of Trump.
ICYMI: Check out this introductory post to see the inspiration for this playlist.
At the bottom of the post, you will find an archive , one story for each week of the playlist.