In the wake of the elections and the political climate we are descending into everyone is on edge and worrying about what to say or not say. people are posting on Facebook complaining about who won, shaming people who pose their opinion, and trying to cope with the results of the election. In the midst of all this people are eagerly awaiting tracks and albums from their favorite punk bands in response to the political goings on.
My band decided we needed to take a stance on what was going on right now and with a gig coming up at a Vans shoe store we decided, that would be our opportunity. We walked to the gig and in doing so encountered a group of protestors chanting and marching through the streets. We talked to a few of them about why they were protesting, they all had the same message, “we aren’t protesting the results, we are doing this to show that we are not going to stand for any injustices under his presidency.” after a few minutes we depart, tonight we are going to debut a new song about the south side of Chicago.
We arrive at the store and get set up for the gig the performer before us did a spoken word performance about Trump and her view of him through the eyes of a black gay woman student in college. Now it’s our turn, we step up and Gardner says a few things about the song, people start to nod their heads as we prepare to start. As the song progresses people start to stop their conversations and look towards us, Gardner’s voice starts to build and we follow suit until finally the climax of the song where he turns to us and tells us to stop playing. He steps off the stage and looks around at the thirty or forty people crowded in this little store, the silence is deafening, at long last he opens his mouth and starts talking about this election. Stating that it doesn’t matter who won or lost because none of that changes the fact there are still people struggling to make ends meet in our very town. It isn’t us versus them it’s us versus ourselves and us versus violence. As he talks phones are drawn and recording him the manager and employees of the store are following everyone’s lead. As I watch him speak I realize that we aren’t witnessing just someone talking, this man has been shaped by Chicago, he breathes and bleeds Chicago. I’ve never seen a city shape someone the way that Chicago shapes our youth and the way our youth shape Chicago. Chicago is more than a city, Chicago is a way of life. (Patrick Tomlin/ CoS Student)