come take a walk with me . . . .
Lately I have felt emotional in response to the discriminatory bill that was passed quickly in a special session in North Carolina, NCHB2, limiting the rights of the LGBT community.
Anger and sadness have been expressed from friends around the county as they grapple with this legislation and what it means about its lawmakers and how they value members of the community.
Feeling compelled to write a response in support of my friends, their families and their futures, I have grappled with the essence of what I wanted to say and why.
After many hours of listening to music and wrestling with various written positions, I have chosen a response that includes a powerful song of courage that continues to resonate now with what occurred in North Carolina, and even with what we are hearing in the race for the presidency.
Dear Mr. President, come take a walk with me
Let’s pretend we are just two people and, you’re not better than me
I’d like to ask you some questions if, we can speak honestly
What do you feel when you see the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror, are you proud?
How do you sleep while the rest of us cry . . . .
Pink wrote Dear Mr. President during George Bush’s administration and the song was controversial and pegged as angry then. Still, objection has its place when there is injustice and hateful, marginalizing actions occurring. Pink showed courage to speak up in the service of change during a time that many people were feeling what she was feeling, but were not so vocal about it . . . .
In response to the North Carolina legislation, it has been encouraging to see people not only expressing their anger, but finding actionable ways to address the situation. Ways that are empowering and potentially policy-changing. A vote with money in an capitalist economy is one sure way to make an impact. Big businesses challenging the policy and government outright banning commerce in an economic region is a pretty big statement of dissent.
Other acts of support have included a thousand people gathering on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill in opposition to the measure. Liking social media posts that protest the legislation. Even writing blog posts. These are public actions of support that challenge the actions of lawmakers and let others know they are not alone.
When there is an outcry of injustice, it exists for a reason.
We all want the same things: to be loved, valued, treated with respect. We want our families to be healthy, happy and to have opportunities for a good future. Let’s not diminish this experience by systematic exclusion.
Let’s make room at the table for everyone to have a lively dinner conversation! Talking to and getting to know others who have different experiences than we do is essential. It broadens our perspective and strengthens our compassion. We are on this journey together as human beings.
Note: I have posted a link to Pink’s moving performance of Dear Mr. President at Wembley Stadium to what looks to be a sold out show of 90,000 people.