Otep Shamaya Misses Civil Political Discourse: “I’m Not Trying to Change Anybody’s Mind Anymore”


For the longest time, American politics has been a high stakes game that has massive consequences for nearly everyone on the planet. And while our two parties are really only set up to serve a hyper rich donor class intent on dividing all of us so we stay at each other’s throats and don’t fight back for real change, they couldn’t have dreamed of the kind of bloodsport that political discourse has become in recent years.

For Otep Shamaya, that shift from common disagreement to extreme people enacting violence on one another is a regrettable change in America. She discussed her feelings on current affairs — and her hardline stance against people on the far right — during a recent interview with Heavy New York (transcribed by Blabbermouth).

“I miss the days of John McCain Republicans where I could disagree with someone all day, but we could still respect each other. Where we are now politically is we’re actually fighting fascism in America. And this isn’t the first time. I mean, it’s not the first time that it’s tried to rear its ugly head. In fact, things have gotten better. We’re just not gonna let them regress to back to those times.

“I can’t remember who said it, but [it] stuck with me, was that we have to know where we’ve been to know where we are to know where we’re going. And that’s why history’s important and that’s why right now for me, anyone that still is wearing a red hat, they’re not somebody that I would even wanna have a discourse with. I’m not trying to change anybody’s mind anymore. I’m not trying to do any of that.”

As an open member of the LGBTQ+ community, Otep said the current anti-trans, anti-drag conversation that often casts queer folk as “groomers” has been a major sticking point for her, saying she’d rather not engage with that kind of bigotry at all.

“If you are that easily pulled into a culture of hate and bigotry and wish the extermination of different types of people, including gay people like me, and wanna rip the rights away from women — I’m a woman — and all the other things that they’re trying to do, against the trans community and that type of thing, if your whole position is based around hate and exclusion, then I don’t care if you listen to my music or not, or come to my shows. I don’t care. I don’t. And I never have.”

With a new album out on September 15, dubbed The God Slayer, Otep’s been making the rounds a bit. She was recently featured on a Cinnamon Babe track, in addition to doing press as of late.

You can check out Otep’s full interview with Heavy New York below. Be sure to give them a like and follow if you’re so inclined.

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