DrMyers’s Blog

December 7, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump: DC Arts Community Speaks Out #REformanceArt

 

 

 

This press release went out on Monday (12/5) as a response to the election of President-Elect Donald Trump.

DC Arts Community Sends Message to Donald Trump

 

Washington, DC, December 5, 2016 – DC based Jazz artists and presenters gathered to video a message to President-Elect Donald Trump this past Wednesday and Thursday, releasing the video online Saturday, December 3rd.  Organized as “REformanceArt,” these artists outlined their love for their city, and what expectations they have for the President-Elect.  Fifteen local artists met at Studio202 on Rhode Island Ave, NE, and the result is an open letter, that many are calling brave, chilling, and tone appropriate.
“I gave myself forty-eight hours to wrap my head around the election,” Aaron Myers, a local Jazz vocalist and activist said when asked about the project.  “After those forty-eight hours were up, I decided to look at what I could do to not only encourage my audience, but to also protect them.  After speaking with saxophonist Herb Scott, I thought that there was no reason for us sit idly by hoping for the best, but to be actively engaged with our local and federal officials to protect my rights, the rights of my fellow musicians, and the rights of our audience members.”
The group that came together at Busboys and Poets, just two days after the election, and discussed a unifying direction. “After the election results, I felt empty.  I felt as if all I had worked for as an artists promoting social change was lost. Pointless; until I got together with some DC artists one morning and let me tell you, REformanceArt was the answer,”said Mark Meadows, who starred this past season in “Jelly’s Last Jam” at Signature Theater.
At this initial meeting, the name “REformanceArt” was adopted.  The meaning is simple; artists who “Perform to Reform” with the goal of using their platforms to not only entertain, but to also empower audiences.  “Artists exist, and are to be heard!” said Emcee Dior Ashley Brown, a long-time DC arts activist.  “We are the creative economy, we are innovators, and leaders of society, infrastructure, influence, we add to, and balance society.”  This tone can be felt by many of the artists who have grown increasingly irritated by not feeling heard in recent months with the closing of many venues many musicians relied on for work, practice, and even shelter.  Now with the looming WMATA safe track, and early closures, many service industry workers fear their jobs (which are apart of the creative economy) are in jeopardy.
“We are looking to take our influence not only to the streets of DC, but to the halls of congress, and into the strategy rooms of upcoming elections.  It is our goal to form a PAC, and use the creativity we have on stage, to aid candidates that share our ideals elected into office.” said Myers.  The organization has been in communication with the offices of Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, along with Andre Carson.  “We reached out to both sides of the isle for guidance, and to have our voice heard,” Myers continued, “however, we’ve only heard back from the Democratic leaders so far.”
One concerning change expected with the new administration is the change of intentionality inclusion of the arts, and artists at the White House, and the plight of many in the creative economy when crafting strategy.  Programs like the Affordable Care Act, if abolished, could leave many entrepreneurs, artists, and small businesses without coverage.  “I would like to see President Elect Trump improve on the wonderful things our current President has done with highlighting what critical role creatives play in our society, and how valuable the Arts are for all human beings.” said saxophonist Herb Scott.
REformanceArt will be having its’ launch event Friday, December 9 from 6pm – 9pm, hosted at the home of David Weiner. 21 Gessford Court S.E. Washington DC 20003 along with the Capitol Hill Jazz Jam & DC Jazz Lobby. 
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March 15, 2016

Super Tuesday Jazzy Endorsements

1931064_55124637032_7149_nToday I offer my 2016 endorsements.  As an entertainer I find it important to offer my voice and my art for activism.  In offering these endorsements, I hope you would consider these candidates when casting your ballots.
You can find these endorsements on my website => HERE
Even if you do not vote for these candidates, I only ask one thing of you, DO NOT VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP!  His tone & rhetoric is laced with racist undertones and incites the hate filled fringe element of our society, creating an atmosphere similar to the way former Alabama Governor George Wallace did in the 1960’s.
Below you can find the links to the websites regarding these great candidates, review them, and then make sure you reach out to them if you decide to support!
Hillary Clinton (D) – President
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) – DC Delegate
David Grosso (I) – At-Large
Yvette Alexander (D) – Ward 7
Robert White (D) – At- Large

May 12, 2009

He’s Just Doing His Thing!: Miss California Retains Her Crown

 

Carrie Prejean - Miss California USA

Carrie Prejean - Miss California USA

Contests typically draw controversy.  At the present moment, Al Franken and Norm Coleman are currently winding down a very closely run contest for the Minnesota Senate seat.  Some controversies can last for decades, while others can last for days.  There are even instances where the public will never be aware of the controversies surrounding some contests whose results are made public.  

 

The latest Controversy, was in part brought to an end today, but raises some very interesting questions, and could affect the progress related to the agenda of Human/Civil Rights Campaigns.  

Today in a Press Conference, Donald Trump (Owner of the Miss USA/Universe Contest) announced that regardless of the public comments made by Miss California and Miss USA Runner up, Carrie Prejean, that she would retain her crown.  This decision came not 24 hours after the administrators of the Miss California Contest “fired” Ms Prejean, due to “Violation of Contract”.

During the Miss USA Pageant, blogger Perez Hilton , who was described as “doing his thing” by Donald Trump, asked a question regarding her support of Gay Marriage.  She responded, predicated with her intent not to offend anyone,  that in “My America” marriage is defined between a man and a woman.  Today, she was encouraged to reiterate her belief, aligning herself with the current belief of the President and Secretary of State (who was also a Presidential Candidate).  Supported by Mr. Trump (who refused to answer questions regarding his own personal belief on the subject) , Ms Prejean proudly encouraged others to use her experience as inspiration when standing up for their beliefs, regardless of the negative backlash that might accompany it.

A very serious question must now be posed:  When does one’s opinion regarding the Definition of Marriage infringe on the obstruction of civil liberties?  And; will the denial of Same-Sex marriage be looked at in the same manner as we look at inter-racial marriage today (which is still looked upon negatively in certain parts of the country).

One must remember that it was a little over 40 years ago, that it was still illegal for interracial couples to be married.  Leon Brazile (who was a trial judge in the case) echoed the rhetoric of German Physician Johann Frierich Blumenbach who stated, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”  The pivotal vote taken by the DC City Council to recognized such marriages, sparked the legislation that was seen before the Supreme Court, which in turn descended that, “Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

During the Press Conference, the President’s view of marriage was touted by both Mr. Trump and Ms Prejean.  Another important question must be posed:  Will President Obama support legislation to legalize Gay Marriage?  If he does not, does this make him as bigoted as those who did not support his candidacy because of his color?

Today, the celebrated “opinion” of Miss California, has placed the Human Rights Campaign in an awkward position.  They could use this decision to press the Gay Marriage Debate to the forefront to gain definite results, or they could regroup and reanalyze their stance on the subject, which could result in the whole subject to be dropped all together.  What do you think?

Perhaps a voice from the past could help shed light on this subject:

 

 

 

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

 

 

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. 

~Thomas Jefferson

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