There are issues that have been on my mind a lot for the last few years, and these issues have been thrust to the fore this past week. Some of what I have been grappling with:
- What does it mean to be a real ally?
- How can I see past my own privilege to better understand the lived experience of people who have been marginalized?
- What does it mean to truly include others whose experience is different from mine?
- How do systems of power set marginalized people and groups against each other?
- How often do I step heedlessly, blind to my privilege, and the systems of power that make my life easier and others’ harder?
- What might it cost me to champion real inclusion, to challenge systems of power and privilege? Opportunities? My self image? People I thought were my friends?
- How can we make people safe if we don’t confront those in positions of power who show through their words and actions that they are seek to maintain the status quo balance of power? What’s at risk if we keep appeasing them?
- And what will our shared society look like if we don’t find a way to make these changes? Is it really sustainable?
My newest song, “Hold the Door Open”, was my attempt to distill these questions into a narrative my community might recognize. Some of you have heard it (I started performing it not that long ago). But it’s more relevant this week than ever.