“What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye)

Solidarity with the “mother” and the “brother,” and a conversation with the (Black?/White?) figure of the “father,” to whom it is recommended: “only love can conquer hate.” But whose hate? White supremacists or those with “picket signs”? Deeply ambiguous referents either signal a deceleration of youth protest or call for White understanding or both. A track, then, that everyone likes, featuring a double dispersal of the political.


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