The Wit and Wisdom of Cornellians

The right of Big Red Bears to babble shall not be infringed

The Wit and Wisdom of Cornellians

The right of Big Red Bears to babble shall not be infringed

Musicians Wanted


by Melody Cleft

I just realized that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion movement has no music capable of inspiring ourselves and changing the hearts and minds of others.

The Civil Rights Movement had music derived from the Gospel tradition that was capable of inspiring the people in the movement and changing the hearts and minds of those who were not. Just listen to these songs: We Shall Not Be Moved, This Little Light of Mine, If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus, Walk with Me Lord, Oh, Freedom, Freedom’s Comin’ and It Won’t Be Long, Only a Pawn in Their Game, Bourgeois Blues, A Change is Gonna Come, Come by Here, I Ain’t Scared of Your Jail because I Want My Freedom, We Shall Overcome, Buses Are A-Comin’ Oh Yes, Get on Board Little Children, Mississippi Goddam, Freedom Highway, One Man’s Hands, Woke Up this Morning with My Mind on Freedom, The Dogs of Alabama, Why? (The King of Love is Dead), and Abraham, Martin, and John.

Inspiring, yes? The Civil Rights Movement also produced African American Classical Music such as Alabama, Malcolm, Malcom—Semper Malcolm, Freedom Rider, Freedom Now Suite, and Fables of Fabius. Daryl Davis of the pro-human movement still uses music to change the hearts and minds of members of the Klan.

Likewise, the Free Speech Movement, which grew out of the Civil Right Movement, also had great music as you can see from its songbook. Listen to these songs: Womb with a View, Oh Come All Ye Mindless, Silent Night, God Rest Ye Free Speech, We Three Deans, Joy to U.C., Free Speech Demonstration Blues, Hey Mister Newsman, Bastion of Truth, Join the FSM, Lessons of Berkeley, and Battle of Berkeley Talking Blues.

The songs are inspiring and funny!

The anti-Vietnam War movement, which grew out of the Civil Rights movement, had great music too. Just listen to Bring ‘em Home, Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, Vietnam, Eve of Destruction, I Ain’t Marching Anymore, Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation, Backlash Blues, I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Blues, War, and We Gotta Get Outta this Place.

Those songs got us out of that place!

Music had the power to change the hearts and minds of those who did not initially agree with these movements.

I was thinking that the reason that there is no music in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion movement is because our great leader, Ibram X. Kendi, eviscerates and disembowels the idea of changing hearts and minds as the primary means of eradicating racism. While I agree that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion movement needs to destroy Western Culture to gain the power and policy change necessary to create an antiracist world, I am proposing that we prioritize music over politics to obtain the necessary power and policy change.

My proposal also applies to historic songs like Dixie. On April 10, 1865, the day after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, had the White House band play Dan Emmett’s “Dixie.” Lincoln said “I propose closing up this interview by the band performing a particular tune which I will name. Before this is done, however, I wish to mention one or two little circumstances connected with it. I have always thought `Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it. I presented the question to the Attorney General, and he gave it as his legal opinion that it is our lawful prize. I now request the band to favor me with its performance.”  Through music, and not its cancelation, Lincoln could live the words of his second inaugural, “with malice towards none; with charity for all” and change the hearts and minds of the American people “to form a more perfect union.”

There is no need to cancel songs that we have already captured!

Before the enemies of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion realize that we do not have music capable of changing the hearts and minds of people who do not agree with our movement, I call all musicians in the DEI movement who have authentic transcendental soul-transforming experiences to begin producing and performing music that will change the hearts and minds of our enemies.

If we do not, we risk the possibility that our enemies with think that our lived experiences are nothing more than virtue-signaling fabrications of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion bureaucracy, embellished by participating in victimhood olympics.

Without music, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion movement may expire rather than inspire. And our enemies will shout, freedom sings and fear and terror stings!

Musicians of the movement unite! No strings attached!


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