There was this lovely aside from Jon Lovett on Pod Save America this week during a conversation about Hurricane Harvey that I think everyone should hear.
“We’re very good at acute decency. Climate change requires a different kind of decency, a different kind of imaginative decency of what it means to care.
That when someone’s stranded on a roof, when water’s rising in a car, you know, compassion kicks in, and humanity kicks in, and decency kicks in. And we have this fundamental challenge that we are not built to have a more expansive version of compassion.”
He’s talking about the stories of families from Michigan driving their fishing boats to Texas to help those stranded by the flooding. I heard those stories and I saw the photos of children being carried to safety by plainclothes heroes and it made me breathe a sigh of relief because these things (gender studies commentary aside), help to keep us connected to something (anything) hopeful. It is right to celebrate these stories. But it is not enough.
Caring about the victims of hurricane Harvey means caring about the victims of the next hurricane Harvey.
It means investing in environmental justice.
Donating not just once to Red Cross but offering sustained support to the grassroots community rebuilding organizations that will be working in Houston well into the next decade.
Fighting for immigration policies that don’t leave undocumented folks unable to seek shelter for fear of deportation.
Being responsive to the ways that communities of color are affected by disaster differently than their predominantly white counterparts.
Demanding better disaster preparedness for people of all abilities.
These catastrophes aren’t going to become less frequent or extreme. The time to learn a more expansive version of compassion is now. That’s all.
This new single from Hiss Golden Messenger, off the forthcoming album Hallelujah Anyhow, is a beautiful and deeply compassionate piece of music. There’s something about MC Taylor’s warm songwriting that embodies both the kind of selfless sacrifice that we’re seeing from folks in Houston right now, and also a longer sighted, gentle, and sustainable kindness that is necessary for a better world.
Also yall should follow Hiss Golden Messenger on Twitter because literally every day he says something that makes me fall back in love with music, art, and whatever it is that we’re all doing here.
Color Lines put together a really good list of organizations supporting communities of color in Houston. Check it out here.
Here’s another list that Vice put together that includes orgs specific to the LGBTQ community as well.
And one from Our Revolution.
Hallelujah Anyhow is out on September 22 on Merge Records. Preorder here.