Lady Gaga’s performance, along with Vice President Biden’s appearance at The Oscars last night, represents the changing tune of humanity. People are tired of hiding in the shadows, and they are tired of being blamed and shamed for the bad behaviors of others. They are speaking out and standing up against the senseless violence that has become so commonplace in our homes, schools, and workplaces. Ignorance and prejudice are no longer valid excuses according to this movement for positive change and the reintegration of the oppressed.
In her tear-inspiring performance of “Till It Happens to You,” Lady Gaga’s lyrics tell clueless people who think they are informed to shut the hell up! This is in direct contrast to Biden’s appeal asking bystanders to intervene when witnessing assaults. The message is clear: unless you are actively taking part in stopping these assaults, your uninformed opinion is making the situation worse, in addition to revictimizing those who are being assaulted!
The message speaks to all of us on many levels. Empathy, compassion, and intervention are the ideals necessary to enact real, lasting social change. We know this works at preventing violence, but many of us would rather argue over who does or does not deserve our good will.