R.I.P. Pete Seeger – May your legacy renew the voice of the folk

Rest in peace Pete Seeger. He was a voice for the voiceless and a fearless spokesman for peace and justice. (For a terrific remembrance, check out this piece from this morning’s NPR Newshour, by Paul Brown.)

Pete Seeger is one of my heroes. If you do not think he was courageous, I ask you, where is the voice of the folk now?

Who is it that is brave and compelling enough to call us together so that we know we are all human–so that we know that we are brothers and sisters? Whose voice is it that dominates the airwaves or web-ways, but treats us with respect and teaches us to respect ourselves?

I am searching for the folk and I am having a hard time finding us. As our popular culture splinters in the internet age we leaving many old myths behind, but we are in danger of losing our power. As Saul Alinsky wrote, in his book Rules for Radicals, “there are two kinds of power, money and people.” Right now, there is no question the dollar has the upper hand.

Where is the voice of the people? Are you, yourself, willing to speak out? If not you, then whom? If not now, then when?

As the grandchild of a socialist organizer, I was brought up with the Seeger spirit. If you have a hammer, you have a responsibility. If you do nothing to help make us better and stronger–to help those with less than you and to hold us, as a nation, to the highest standards–then you are not worthy of your hammer.

If you have a voice,

Sing it in the morning.

Sing it in the evening.

All over this land.

Sing out justice.

Sing out freedom.

Sing out love between our brothers and our sisters, all over this land.


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