I think a lot of us, myself included, are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer demonstration of hatred that’s permeating our world as we speak. It’s heartbreaking to wake up each day and to spend the hours ahead of me reading more and more and more horrific news. It’s heartbreaking to see no end to the upset. It’s heartbreaking to watch people be thrown out of their own country, to stop feeling safe, to fear for their lives and their futures. I don’t know how it feels to be in that position, and I don’t want to make it sound like I’m a voice for those individuals, because I’m not. Like most people, I’m just appalled at the fact that we’re at this point, and that this is the real world we’re living in. My writing and my voice and music and art are the best tools I have to speak out and to stand up for what I believe is just. And I’m going to use those tools as well as I can.
I am a privileged person. I’m white. I’m straight. I’m able-bodied. I am only oppressed by the fact that I am a woman. For most of the world’s population, though, oppression comes at them in a thousand different ways, and it sits heavy on their shoulders. I don’t know what it’s like to feel that. But I do know what it’s like to fear for what’s next, and I’m ready to do as much as I can in the face of adversity. At a time when the entire world feels like it’s crumbling, we need to demonstrate our unity more than ever. We need to cast aside the things that divide us and recognize our power as human beings and stand up against the misogynistic, racist, fascist, greedy individual who has somehow been put into the ultimate position of power. This doesn’t mean we can to erase the past. This doesn’t mean we can forget previous and current injustices. But it does mean we can push forward and fight for a better future.
I made a different iteration of this playlist a few years ago, when Donald Trump wasn’t even running for President (let alone elected), when things seemed simpler, and when I never thought a world like this would become reality. It was created out of a distaste for anti-feminism and racism and homophobia and corporate wealth and power and so much more that I thought I knew a lot about. I didn’t really understand how bad it could get, and now that we’re at this point, I think we could really use these tracks.
The people who wrote and sang these songs did so for the same reason I’m writing this post: to use their voice. They did it a thousand times more eloquently than I am, and the songs have stuck with me over the past few years as I learned more about injustice and activism. As much as I would like to believe that music fixes everything, it doesn’t. Music can’t fix bigotry, it can’t fix racism and homophobia and misogyny and discrimination. It can’t make the whole thing better, it can’t make Trump disappear, and it can’t stop ridiculous policies. At the very least, though, it provides comfort. It provides inspiration and motivation. It provides hope. And that lessens the weight a tiny bit. We still need to rise up. We still need to educate ourselves. We still need to use our voices. And these tracks can accompany us while we do it.