Political Engagement Among Musicians: Unprecedented At One week From The Election
Because we are so close to the election of our lifetime, because so much is in the balance and because the country has never been so divided, our eyes and attention are entirely focused on one thing for this last week, that may stretch to a month or more? Everyone is posting about it on social media, just randomly scrolling down my current feed, I see Dead Kennedys posting a drawing of the late great Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker claiming she has just voted for Biden-Harris, and Thom York retweeting an article about Facebook’s algorithm skewed in favor of the fake Hunter Biden NY Post story. There is an unprecedented political engagement among musicians, and if it is not surprising for some, this is a trend that has generalized to everyone.
If the overwhelming majority of musicians are supporting Biden, the focus has been on Black artists. But even among them, there are a few exceptions such as rapper 50 Cents’ lamentable decision to vote for Trump because of Biden’s tax plan. Then, there is Ice Cube’s very disappointing decision to be working with the Trump campaign because the other camp had told him to wait until the election. We are now at one week from the E-day, so how could any party possibly commit to any plan (Ice Cube has proudly come up with his own Contract with Black America) in such a short amount of time? Despite his claim that he has not endorsed Trump, Cube has faced an expected backlash. I just have a hard time to believe that anything good could come up from a meeting between Jared Kushner and Ice Cube, is Cube naïve enough to not understand he is being used? Does he think Kushner has any genuine intention to help the Black community? Especially after the condescending comment that he made on Fox News ‘But he [Trump] can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.’ We all have seen how his father-in-law has been invested in the success of the Black community, and how he has reacted to the recent Black Lives Matter protests. Meanwhile, Sean Diddy Combs has endorsed Biden but has also launched his own party, called Our Black Party, and you have to wonder about Cube and Diddy’s single initiatives when Black activists have crafted similar plans? Of course, I am not even talking about Kanye West, whose inflated ego is running for president or vice president in certain states of the country.
But thanks God for Black Women, who are far less divided and confused on the subject. And who else could represent them better than Lizzo, who supported the Biden-Harris campaign on Saturday, and spoke in the battleground state of Michigan? ‘Michigan is going to be so crucial, and how Michigan votes is going to be so crucial between trying to make America great again or finally bringing America together,’ she said, ‘They’re out there trying to make America great again, but we need to finally bring America together because I don’t want to go back to the way it was,’ she declared. Our options may not be the best we can hope for, but Lizzo is right, I don’t want to go back to the way it was, and by back. I mean backward.