Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Same Love...

The first time I heard Same Love, the song by hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (featuring Mary Lambert), I literally started crying. I was blown away by the song's message, and the way it challenges those who believe sexual orientation is a choice, those who discriminate, those who are afraid, and those who just don't understand.

Here are some of the lyrics that resonate for me:
The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing god, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don’t know
And god loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written 3500 years ago
I don’t know
And then, this challenge to hip-hop:
If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately
"Man, that’s gay" gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we’re saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don’t have acceptance for 'em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Last month, Susan Johnson, a middle school teacher in Detroit was suspended for three days for playing the song for her class. The school district said Johnson’s suspension was warranted because it broke basic curriculum rules teachers at the school are meant to follow, in that she needed to get prior permission to play something like this. (She probably wouldn't have gotten that permission.)

Students and others, including Macklemore himself, protested Johnson's suspension. But more than that, Johnson's students were moved by what they heard. One student even sent Macklemore an email about the incident:

If you've never heard the song, I encourage you to put your preconceived notions of hip-hop aside and listen to it. Or share it with those who need to hear it. I commend Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for sharing this message.

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