Below is the text of my speech from the Refuse Fascism protest in Seattle on November 4, 2017.

We are here today to refuse fascism. In order to refuse something, we must understand it at the root. So before I sing to you. I’m going to ask you to do something with me.

Notice the lowest part of your body that you can and then notice what is beneath it. The Earth is pulling you towards her as she turns in space.

Take a breath into the deepest part of your belly that you can feel. Draw power from the air and the Earth. You are wanted here.

Now look around. Make eye contact with someone you haven’t met. Say “hello.” Tell them your name. Now say to each other, “you are wanted here.”

There was a time when we knew that this was all we needed. Nature, our bodies, and each other.

There’s an old story about how this changed: we lived in a perfect garden. But we got curious, and we felt desire, and the next thing we know, God was casting us out to wander in the wilderness – naked and ashamed.

Notice how shame is what turned our view of nature from Eden to wasteland. So we started separating ourselves from nature.

To do this, we built a system of hierarchies. Men above women. Light skin above dark. Rich above poor. The closer you were to the top, the more you were entitled to take from those beneath you, and the closer you were to the bottom, the closer you were to the wasteland.

Fascism is the ultimate manifestation of those hierarchies. It is based in the delusion that those at the top can become invincible if we fortify our borders, punish our enemies, and extract enough from our bodies, each other, and nature.

To truly refuse fascism, we must do the opposite. We must relax our borders, open ourselves to those who are different, and nurture ourselves, each other, and the Earth.

We must become aware once again of our connection to nature. Like the old African American spiritual says – and I’ve adapted it here – “just like a tree that’s standing in the waters…”

Emotional Labor

Writing songs, speeches, and essays, researching and synthesizing information, and organizing and performing at protests are all emotional labor. Please consider making a contribution to my work.


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