Over the past two weeks, in the wake of the U.S. presidential election, I’ve seen/watched/heard terrible news being shared on Facebook and other social media. Rising anti-Semitism garnered by the alt-right. Intimidation of journalists and free speech. Derogatory language regarding Muslims, African-Americans, the LGBTQ community, etc. It’s gut-wrenching. Horrifying. Paralyzing.
A great number of us feel like we’ve lost our country. But in fact, 2016 has been a year of many losses, particularly musical. Prince, Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and Sharon Jones come immediately to mind. Yet I keep coming back to another musical icon who passed away: the boombox-carrying “Radio Raheem” (played by Bill Nunn) from Spike Lee’s Oscar-nominated Do the Right Thing. Given his character’s poignant message, expressed in the clip below, I don’t think it’s any coincidence we lost Mr. Nunn this year, too. HATE has won, at least temporarily.
As for 2017? Here’s hoping LOVE makes that comeback you predicted, Radio.