Seyram A. Butame

You see the Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys/ They ain't gonna fight no wars.

A song to match the mood.

04 May 2022

The disturbing news from the SCOTUS caused many to pause and think about the fickle nature of our civil rights. Roe and many of the Court decisions of that era established human rights in significant ways for women and historically marginalized communities. If a watershed decision can be discarded in such a manner, then what we are seeing is:

One step forwards, two steps backwards

Down ina Babylon

Words from the famous Max Romeo song “One Step Forward”. Written and produced by Romeo and Lee’ Scratch’ Perry. It is a reggae tune that bemoans the struggle for progress. Truly, “Straight is the road that leads to destruction”, but on the other hand, “The road to righteousness is narrow”. I think it is a song that appropriately captures the moment’s mood. I am well aware that there are more significant problems in the world. But for a country like the US, which claims to be at the forefront of democracy and human rights, to backslide in this manner, we have a lot to worry about.

Note — Rastafarianism, the religion/social movement that permeates reggae as a genre of music, does not have a favorable view of abortion. The times I hear abortion referenced specifically in reggae music, it is in a negative context. So, it may seem odd that I would cite Romeo’s song to capture the mood (both Romeo and Perry subscribe to the movement, at least they did in the 70s). But like any philosophy, Rastafari views on abortion are probably more complicated. I am not an anthropologist, but I would hazard a guess, from context, that abortion is historically seen as one of many tools used by colonizers and colonizers as a mechanism for control. In that sense, abortion is not intrinsically wrong, but its role as a tool of the “downpressors” makes it a part of “Babylon the bandit” (a reference to another favorite song :smiley:).