Emily Haines’ Love Letter to Detroit

Who would have thought that an email subscription to METRIC‘s newsletter could be so relevant and meaningful in light of the upcoming US election? Yes, I’ll admit that I completely rely on these emails to let me know when METRIC is coming to a city near me or when their next album is going to drop. But when I read this email from band frontswoman Emily Haines, I was so excited that it was more than just an email about tour dates and merch sales. If I wasn’t completely enthralled by Ms. Haines before, I can say that it’s officially official.

However, as we are seeing in the run up to the next presidential election in the US, the great strides and accomplishments of past trailblazers can be eroded by time if the principles they fought for are not actively upheld.  Politicians creep in slowly with their incremental encroachments and we feel stupid being nervous because, in general, we have it so good. Like, don’t overreact! It’s impolite and ungrateful to be vigilant because we’re supposedly post-everything, right? Well, perhaps on paper, but often not in practice. The thing we have to get our heads around on a daily basis is that even a small step in the wrong direction is too far when attempting to prevent a slide backwards. We have to remember that there were plenty of people back in my dad’s day who really didn’t want black people to be able to vote and aggressively stood in their way. Nightmarish scene on Montgomery bridge, anyone? And now we’re finding out that even today there are people who would seek to suppress the vote of certain groups.

Being in Detroit, thinking of my father’s time, it makes me realize how the distant past can also feel like recent history. We need to understand that these rights we take for granted are quite new to us and not so immutable as we might like to think. A mature democracy is not one where we all have the “freedom” to let the prize of power land in the hands of the highest bidder because we couldn’t be bothered to think about what’s happening outside of our personal lives. Becoming so completely consumed by the diversions of our culture that we forget to care about anything larger is not freedom.

[All links are taken from the original email]


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