People say that history repeats itself, and many of us would agree. One of the best ways to see that phrase in is through music. The recordings of Bob Marley are a great example of the phenomenon.
“I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was self defense. I shot the sheriff, but they say it is a capital offense.” Ring any bells?
How about, “Win the war for America…Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival?” or perhaps, “How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look?”
It is terrifying that the same racial tensions, which inspired Marley to write these powerful lyrics, are still taking place today in our own unique contexts. But how do we, as mere college students, solve those issues?
The song “Get Up, Stand Up” tells us the answer. Originally, Marley wrote the song in 1973 to encourage Haitian civilians to rise up out of poverty. The lyrics are still relevant to our political state today, however. One stanza reads: “Cause you know most people think, A great God will come from the skies, Take away everything, And left everybody dry.”
To solve the heinous racial injustices, sexist injustices and other atrocities that seem to by cropping up all over our country today, we cannot simply think that by some miracle, all of the issues in our society will be taken away and resolved without our participation. Let me assure you, they will not. Equal rights will not be granted unless they are fought for. That fight does not inherently have to include violence, however.
We all have one universal right in this nation, and as the millennial generation it is our job to capitalize on it. We need to get up and stand up for our rights and others’ by utilizing our right to vote. It doesn’t matter how you vote — democratic, independent, man, woman, right, left, who cares? Do your research, come to “see the light” of what issues are important to you, and “stand up for your right.”
“Don’t give up the fight,” said Marley. We can’t roll over now- this is a call to action from Bob Marley and the Wailers. From Trayvon Martin. From all of the women who fought for suffrage a century ago. From your fellow millennial students:
Don’t give up the fights of the many equality movements sweeping our nation. Get up. Stand Up for your rights. Vote.