Black Lives Matter: America Faces the Music of Diversity
E Pluribus Unum–from the many to the one—seemingly describes a republic based on unity in diversity. Yet Thomas Jefferson, the same person who wrote “All men are created equal,” owned 600 slaves during his lifetime. How can we reconcile such incongruence? In previous podcasts we provided some clues, including the little known fact that the high-minded values of liberty, equality, and natural rights were influenced by, and often directly appropriated from, Native American societies that were truly egalitarian. But the founding fathers only appropriated what they understood or wanted to include. Specifically, they left out women and people of color—in so doing, they created an American shadow. A significant part of our history has been repressed or marginalized as a way of protecting white male privilege, a history we are only beginning to face. Strangely enough, we can thank the Donald Trump presidency for acting as a catalyst in revealing this American shadow. This has been dangerous because it has given license to previously suppressed forces to openly hate, but it has also been an opportunity to see America as it really is—and maybe to change.
Three and a half years into the Trump administration, the Black Lives Matter movement surpassed the Women’s March to become the largest movement in world history. And while BLM has a much longer history, predating the Trump administration, it has now garnered a record number of allies to the cause. Is White America finally waking up?
To discuss this and more, we are joined today by two creative men who have breathed new life into the concept of liberty and artistic expression. Through the merging of music, poetry, and social activism, they are making an impact in shifting the consciousness of America away from the politics of intolerance and exclusion toward the politics of love and inclusion. Ron Crowder and Hakim Bellamy teamed together on a video version of the song “Liberty” that graces the opening of each and every Circle for Original Thinking podcast. They are here to talk about that, BLM, unity in diversity, and much more.
“America is going through a reckoning now. Forty-nine to fifty-one percent of the country wants to admit we’re racist and proceed with the remedy. The other half are like, nah, it’s serving me well. Let’s keep doing what we are doing.”
~ Hakim Bellamy
“This is no ordinary time; this is no ordinary world we live in, no ordinary life, one thought could change the world but will it change our minds?
All that we can ever know could unwind, collapse and then explode. This is the moment – one chance to be alive. This is the moment, it’s time to realize who we are.”
~ Ron Crowder from his song “This is the Moment”
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Glenn Aparicio Parry, PhD, of Basque, Aragon Spanish, and Jewish descent, is the author of Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again (SelectBooks, 2020) and the Nautilus award-winning Original Thinking: A Radical Revisioning of Time, Humanity, and Nature (North Atlantic Books, 2015). Parry is an educator, ecopsychologist, and political philosopher whose passion is to reform thinking and society into a coherent, cohesive, whole. The founder and past president of the SEED Institute, Parry is currently the director of a grass-roots think tank, the Circle for Original Thinking and is debuting this podcast series of the same name in conjunction with Ecology Prime. He has lived in northern New Mexico since 1994. www.originalpolitics.us
Ron Crowder was already an award-winning audio engineer, producer, and session player long before he started composing, recording, and performing his own songs. Since then, he has achieved similar success writing and performing his own music. Ron won the award for Best Song at the 2018 NM Music Awards, along with his co-writers, Jim Casey and Danny Casey, for their song, “Liberty,” the title track from the EP of the same name. Crowder followed that with a new song “This is the Moment,” a timely and prescient song that won the award for Best song at the 2020 NM Music Awards. Crowder is donating net proceeds from the sales of “This is the Moment” to the Navajo-Hopi Covid-19 Relief Fund.
Hakim Bellamy has been called a civic catalyst, a culture change agent, and a gardener for democracy; he is also a poet, musician, and peace ambassador. Hakim burst onto the Albuquerque scene just over a decade ago and shortly thereafter became the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM (from 2012-2014). Hakim is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion and holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico. His poetry has been published in numerous anthologies across the globe, and can be seen adorning such public spaces as the Albuquerque Convention Center, a public library, and in inner-city buses. In 2013 he was awarded the Emerging Creative Bravos Award by Creative Albuquerque and was named a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow as well as a Food Justice Resident Artist at Santa Fe Art Institute in 2014. Bellamy was named “Best Poet” in the Weekly Alibi’s annual Best of Burque poll every year from 2010 to 2017. His first book, SWEAR (West End Press/UNM Press) won the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing from the Working Class Studies Association. He is the co-creator of the multimedia Hip Hop theater production Urban Verbs: Hip-Hop Conservatory & Theater that has been staged throughout the country. He facilitates youth writing workshops for schools, jails, churches, prisons and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond.
Traditional native flute music by Orlando Secatero from Pathways CD.
Liberty song by Ron Crowder, Jim Casey and Danny Casey
The opinions of our host and guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ecology Prime management.