The Thought Leaders Issue: Beth Ditto

The Thought Leaders Issue: Beth Ditto

The Thought Leaders Issue: Beth Ditto

The musician on protests and why everyone needs to vote.

The musician on protests and why everyone needs to vote.

Photography: Inez & Vinoodh

Text: Czar Van Gaal

V127’s Thought Leaders Issue is available for pre-order now.

“We are on the brink of surreal levels of fascism, that is why it’s important to vote. I’m voting this November because it’s the only thing that makes me feel like I have power to change this system that is broken. People were like, ‘Well if it’s not Bernie, I’m not voting.’ And when people say that, it’s usually people who have nothing to lose. It’s usually people who don’t know any kind of struggle, whether it be racial inequality or LGBTQIA+ rights. It’s usually coming from people who don’t face disadvantages in this country. You have to understand that this could mean someone’s health care or job. This could mean someone’s immigration status. This could be the difference between freedom and jail time for someone. There’s so many things that are at stake. It’s really time to show up for those people and think about what it’s like to be in their shoes.

“It’s easy to read headlines about another Black person getting murdered by the police and become desensitized to it. It’s happening so often that it’s not surprising, it doesn’t feel jarring anymore and it becomes desensitizing eventually. We can’t let that feeling make us complacent and make us complicit at the same time. I support the protests completely. You could hear them all over town for days, maybe even weeks. It made me really proud. It made me realize this is why I live here [in Oregon]—the togetherness, compassion and strong sense of community. If I wanted to experience a mind-numbing, right-wing hellhole, I would’ve just never left Arkansas.

“Just vote—just fucking do it. It takes like 10 seconds, it’s really that easy. Maybe that’s just me speaking from a place of privilege. Maybe in other places it isn’t that easy, but that is why we have to band together. We’ve got to rally everyone we possibly can at this point. If somebody you know needs help
voting, whether they’re elderly or young—it’s our duty to help them cast their ballot. If you have a neighbor who needs a ride [to the polls] offer them one. I think It’s important to remember that in any social movement, no one in power has done the work for us. We’ve always done it ourselves and that’s not going to be any different now. So even if the election doesn’t go the way that we hoped — we just can’t take no for an answer.”

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Credits: VLM Studio Kim Pollock (Agent) Jodokus Driessen (Lighting director) Marc Kroop (Studio manager) Brian Anderson (Digital technician) VLM Productions Tucker Birbilis (Producer) Eva Harte (Production coordinator) John Nadhazi (Production manager) Joe Hume (Photo assistant) Retouching Stereohorse

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