While we’re talking about the music of resistance, here’s a reminder that revolutionary music doesn’t come only from angry young black men (or other clichés). Malvina Reynolds reminding us of some important facts about fighing for justice:
If you decide to stand up for anything, you will find that people will accuse you of not being nice, of being impolite, of your behaviour being improper. “You can’t say that!” is a popular way of killing resistance. They’ll make a fuss over your language while they murder people by the thousands, or condemn your tactics for causing a bit of harmless chaos while they cause misery and destruction on a scale that cannot be imagined.
But as the song says: “There are nicer ways to do it / But the nice ways always fail.”
Fighting for justice and equality is not about all of us getting along and singing songs with flowers in our hair. It doesn’t mean using their tactics, or falling to their level of murder and assassination, either… but it does mean fighting. It means conflict. It means not being nice.