Like most people, seeing the events of the past weekend during the “I Will Breathe” Rally was a call-to-arms. While the chaotic events of the evening warrant their own discussion, it’s undeniable that the peaceful events of the rally itself (and the impetus behind it) should be at the front of mind for everyone. Violence against people of color and all minorities of race, creed and color is unacceptable. This isn’t an obvious statement that only applies to post-rally thinking but should be ever-present for us all.
Knowing what to do about the perpetrated police violence in our community or any other is an incredibly difficult question to resolve. Voting can certainly help to put the right people in power but is an incredibly slow process; often taking literal generations to see meaningful change. Rioting is an understandable act of frustration to ensure the maligned voices are heard; though unsustainable over time. So, how do we support our minority communities through this crisis and see meaningful change?
In the short term, it seems the best tools at our disposal are Education, Understanding and Empathy. As a white male, my privilege is likely beyond my comprehension. Reading articles on The 1963 Civil Rights Movement in Nashville can provide historical context on these longstanding difficulties; as this is not a recent development. Taking time to sit with pieces on what the Black Experience is truly like will open your eyes up to better empathizing with the frustrations of daily life. And, finally, reading through proposals like The Nashville’s People’s Budget Coalition can help shine a light on understanding where the system is failing and how we can all work to reconfigure the faulty mechanisms. Willful ignorance can no longer be allowed.
As a podcast network that trades in entertainment and local music coverage, hopefully this does not feel like grandstanding. As we have said many times, the We in We Own This Town is meant to be representative of everyone. We may exist largely to provide an outlet of entertainment and levity but we seek to lift all voices and be as inclusive as possible. This isn’t possible without understanding the plights of the marginalized and doing something to help course correct; even if it’s just own behaviors.
Look to The Scene, Gideon’s Army, Black Lives Matter Nashville, the aforementioned Nashville People’s Budget and all of the organizations associated with them to assist. Give money when and where you can. Volunteer for support. Listen. I am striving to improve on all of these areas myself and hope that you will, too. For the sake of bettering communities everywhere, it’s time to proactively be involved, whenever and however you can.
See you out there.