C’mon People Now

One of the best things my mother did when raising me is to teach me that everyone . . . EVERYONE is equal.  Regardless of skin tone, religious beliefs, country of origin, sexual orientation, etc., each and every person on this planet is just as important and vital as the next, and should all be treated equally and fairly.  She had LGBT friends, black friends, Hispanic, Catholic, Wiccan, Jewish . . . you name it.  My childhood was as diverse as it could have possibly been in the middle of Michigan in the 70s.

It wasn’t until I left Michigan and moved out into the world that I learned not everyone felt that same way.  I mean, I had heard of segregation, but to my young, inexperienced self, that was something that had only happened WAY in America’s past, rather than a mere 5-10 years before I was born.  I remember my first encounter with someone using the “n” word and meaning it . . . I was actually shocked and did one of those head-shakes you see in cartoons all the time, where I thought “Did I just hear that right?”

I couldn’t then (and I still can’t, today) understand why people would speak of, or treat another person so cruelly just because they were born with a different skin color, have a different religious belief, sexual orientation, or any number of things that makes us unique.  And it continues to shock me when I hear of people having such prejudiced, narrow-minded beliefs IN THE 21ST CENTURY!  The sheer amount of malicious slurs that are being spoken by certain politicians this year–not to mention the hordes of people who are cheering that crap on–makes me cringe for the enlightenment that I’d hoped we as a nation were moving towards.  So, I’ve decided to help give that enlightenment a little help by posting some music videos that talk about equality and acceptance, and hopefully this will make its way around the internet to offset some of the nasty energy these politicians and their followers are generating.

. . . If you want to listen to these songs, just click on each image and you’ll be taken to the video on YouTube . . .

The first song that resonated with me about this topic is Depeche Mode’s People Are People.  I was more into Pop Music as a teenager, and had never even heard of Depeche Mode before.  It wasn’t until I was living in Florida that I heard this powerful song.  To this day, it’s one of my favorite anthems for equality.

DepecheModePeopleArePeople

The next is a classic from the late 60s.  In Everyday People, Sly & the Family Stone sang about how one person didn’t like another for superficial reasons, and then how that person didn’t like still another person for a different superficial reason (how’s THAT for irony?).  It’s really a great song and if you (like me) enjoy learning the lyrics, you can find them here.

Everyday People

This next song combines SO many of my favorite musical things: an awesome beat (which takes center stage about 3/4 of the way through the song), GORGEOUS harmonies, and powerful lyrics that embody truth and (hopefully) open people’s eyes.

Free Your Mind

But one of my favorite pieces that talks about equality isn’t actually a song . . . though it is on an album.  In Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation: 1814, she has a few Interludes scattered between songs.  The very last one–Interlude: In Complete Darkness–is my favorite:

In complete darkness we are all the same
It is only our knowledge and wisdom that separates us
Don’t let your eyes deceive you

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