Friday, June 12, 2009

"Our Voices/Ourselves" and Our World

Electric. Provocative. Sexy. Soulful. Struggle. Connected. Caring.

Those are just some of the words that pop into my head as I reflect on the work that is going up on stage tonight at the Mickee Faust Clubhouse in the "Our Voices/Ourselves" show.

Last night, I came home jazzed and excited having watched my friends explore new places in themselves, and share it with an audience. I felt loved and supported in my own performance which is yet another careful step in my walk toward more joy. After such an evening, I probably should have gone straight to bed. But I took wind down time on the computer... and that's when I saw this message from one of the P-FLAG chapters:

"KRXQ Hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States apologize for dehumanizing and defamatory comments advocating child abuse of transgender children. On their May 28th broadcast, they made defamatory and dehumanizing comments about transgender people, including advocating child abuse of transgender children."

The show's hosts, heard in Sacramento, CA and Reno, NV, went on to issue their apology with the obligatory "Sorry" and "Didn't know my words would be interpreted this way."

And my light heart went limp for a moment as I reflected on yet-another-instance of morons with microphones and the damage they cause.

I was a radio journalist. I know what it means to choose your words carefully to communicate a point. And I know the power of words. If you are person with access to the public airwaves, you have a responsibility for the words you choose to use. Your words are not yours only when you put them out over a broadcast signal. They become community words, part of a dialogue and conversation that you are having with a listening public. It may feel like it's one-way, but it truly is not. There are people responding to what you are saying. And if you play upon someone's pre-disposition toward abusive behavior of those they consider to be "weak", you are aiding and abetting violence. That is not responsible; that is reprehensible.

I contrast this with the performances that are hitting the stage and exploding tonight in Railroad Square. What a different conversation we're having! One in which there's so much hope, grit, and genuine seeking of something good in this messy world we live in. "Our Voices" should be the voices heard. Come listen tonight at 8pm at the Mickee Faust Clubhouse in Railroad Square.


Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish I could be there. Sounds like you have hit pay dirt and are adding to the positive side of life. God Bless, the work that you all are doing.


SACollins said...

Spewing hate seems to be the crutch that some talk radio personalities use as an excuse for getting ratings, or as a platform for their personal prejudices.
Free speech does not protect people that incite others to do harm.
These people should be fined, at least- be required to go to a class on tolerance;at most- be fired.
Words have power- and when they are broadcasted, responsibility for those words must fall on the shoulders of those who utter them.

SCG said...

Right on, SA!

Peggins: you would have enjoyed the show, but you would have been HOT. :)