“You Americans, you are so naïve. You think evil is going to come into your houses wearing big black boots. It doesn’t come like that. Look at the language. It begins in the language.” Joseph Brodsky
I remember when Rap music first came into my consciousness. It was because of the debates over the misogynistic lyrics in some of the songs. Although the lyrics I heard made me angry, I was intellectually curious about the ideas of freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Rap did what good art does, it got me thinking.
Because of this, I came to believe that we’re all responsible for what we put out into the world.
I believe that we have to be as thoughtful and clear in our message as possible. We may not always be able to control how other people interpret it, but if we say it, sing it, write it, create it, we have to take responsibility for the impact it may have.
And the more powerful we are, the bigger reach we have, the more important it is that we understand that our words can be equally uplifting and inspiring as damaging and destructive.
My whole life I’ve heard women defend men saying that they didn’t really mean what they said, or that they were only joking, and they were really “good guys”. If someone whats to believe that in their person life, that’s their choice, but in my mind there’s a different standard for people in public life.
As an artist, I take seriously what I choose to put out into the world.
And I believe that anyone who has a much power as the President of the United States has to be responsible for his or her words and the actions, good or bad, that they provoke.
Beto O’Rourke’s response to the shootings in El Paso on Saturday speaks directly to this belief. That’s why I chose it to be a part of Tiny Pricks. I feel it speaks not only to this mass shooting, but to so much of Donald Trump’s presidency.
This is the second piece that I’m sending to the Tiny Pricks Project. My first one was a quote by Donald Trump. You can read more about Tiny Pricks Project and how to participate in it here or follow it here on Instagram.