The Rhythm of New Hampshire Show Chorus (RNH) is proud to raise its voice not only in song but to stand together with the victims of racial injustice and systemic racism in our country. People of color are living in a toxic, dangerous environment of trauma and inequity, and we can no longer remain silent to the loss of human life and dignity. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor give names to just a few of the countless men and women of color who have lost their lives at the hands of injustice.
We have a duty to speak up. We see discrimination every day in all aspects of life, including housing, health care, education, the criminal justice system, and employment. We have seen these instances and remained silent, allowing others to take up the cause. Our silence gives root to the ideas that inequity is acceptable, allowing it to take a firmer hold in our land. In our barbershop history, we know that racism infiltrated music organizations throughout the 20th century by denying membership to black members, even though the foundation of this music style was co-opted from the African American culture. Our barbershop community still wrestles with active inclusion by its reluctance to ban racist songs that alienate people of color. We are making progress, but it is slow – too slow. Acts of acknowledging harmful behavior, speaking up, and correcting disparities can go a long way toward sparking universal change. We can no longer accept the status quo.
We must acknowledge that systemic racism exists and eradicate it. We will not stand silently by and condone the ongoing inequities despite past protests. People of color are dying at the hands of racism. As Martin Luther King, Jr. observed, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
Today we speak and take action.
1. The Rhythm of New Hampshire Show Chorus is committed to fostering an actively inclusive chorus.
2. We will continue to ensure all members have equal opportunities, have respect, and feel valued.
3. We will work tirelessly to ensure our policies, repertoire, and environment foster a supportive, inclusive experience for all members. Through artistic expression, we believe we can be part of the solution by educating our audiences on music history, sharing new, inclusive ideas, and changing the landscape through song.
4. We will work with our parent organization, Harmony Inc., on its Equality and Diversity Committee to create opportunity, pathways, and a voice for all.
5. We will speak up against the injustice of racism in all its forms and build dialogue toward greater understanding.
We will continue to speak out because, if we are not part of the solution, we become part of the problem. Together, we are stronger.