Swimming Against the Current
The great New Orleans classical/jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis said in a recent interview that hip-hop and rap music have done more harm to African Americans than have Confederate monuments: “I started saying in 1985 I don’t think we should have a music talking about n*gg*rs and bitches and hoes. It had no impact. I’ve said it. I’ve repeated it. I still repeat it. To me that’s more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee.”
That, even though Marsalis was involved in having the Lee statue removed in his hometown.
Musicians have disagreed with him, but no thinking person can deny his basic point: “You can’t have a pipeline of filth be your default position” and not have it take a toll on society.
Which brings me to the Irish referendum a few weeks ago and how two-thirds of a people with Ireland’s past could vote to kill their own offspring in the womb. If you haven’t already, look at photos from the post-referendum celebrations: mostly young people, not bad kids, happily convinced that they just advanced freedom and equality for women.
They actually and ignorantly advanced the equivalent of slavery in our time and degradation for women who choose to end an innocent life for their own purposes.
I’m not convinced by the piecemeal explanations: the bishops discrediting themselves by covering up priestly abuse, the Celtic Tiger’s seductions of wealth, the “sprint away from Catholicism” (as the New York Times gleefully put it) towards “modernity.” These were factors, of course, but a people firm in faith – or even just clear in thought about what human beings can and cannot do to one another – simply would never have approved such horrors without something more.