As a child of the 60’s and 70’s it bothers me that the conversation on race is driven by calls for division. I grew up with music about cultural struggle and saw America come out on the other side of that struggle better than before. I wish I could say that is still the case…I can’t.
Over the last several years the conversation has devolved into why one race or culture should not be using the words, hairstyles and other icons of another culture. Wasn’t the strength supposed to be in the blending, coming together to work for the mutual benefit of all our people? It really did seem to me we had made progress as a people. That was until the divide started.
Now college kids want to be segregated away from other races and cultures. You can’t have “Mexican night” featuring tacos and burritos at a college event. Simple Halloween or theme parties are policed for cultural sensitivity. Even professional athletes are chirping at each other over hairdos and tattoos of all things.
If we follow this divide to a logical conclusion in a society that wants to hide all references to the Civil War, we will lose some very valuable culture of our own. I hope you enjoy today’s examples:
Three Dog Night: Black and White
Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney: Ebony and Ivory
Michael Jackson: Black or White
Randy Newman: Short People
Garth Brooks: We Shall Be Free
Neil Young: Southern Man
Stevie Wonder: Living for the City
Stories: Brother Louie
I can say for me that I don’t want to lose this music, or others you may think of, because some ultra-sensitive, uneducated kid needs a safe space when he hears it. There are lessons in our past…and some darn good music when you stop to think about it.