“I worked as a journalist for a lot of years, and I’ve tried to see things from as many sides as I could,” says Jesse James DeConto of Durham, North Carolina-based folk-rock outfit The Pinkerton Raid. “But on election night in 2016, America just didn’t make any sense anymore, as though we had stopped being a nation because we were no longer working together toward what was best for everyone. The more I read the polls and analysis, there was only one way I could look charitably at the Trump voters, and that was to see their fear.”
Inspired by this idea, the band met up with friends this winter at CityWell, a United Methodist congregation in Durham which is currently housing undocumented immigrant Samuel Oliver-Bruno in sanctuary protection from ICE. While there, they shot a music video for “These Colors Don’t Run,” a poignant track from the band’s upcoming album Where the Wildest Spirits Fly, set for release on Tuesday, May 1st.
“So many white people, especially older, white Americans, they live in places that haven’t seen much of the economic progress that has benefited me in places like Portsmouth, New Hampshire, or Durham, North Carolina, where I’ve lived,” DeConto explains. “They see America becoming a multi-colored, multi-cultural place, and they won’t all name it this way, but they’re afraid they might not fit into it anymore. They’re afraid if they don’t keep pushing Black people or Muslims or immigrants down, they’ll end up losing somehow.”
The live performance video features the band playing to the congregation, who sings along with the band in a touching display of unity; it shows us that we can stand together in love to overcome sadness and fear, that hope is possible in the midst of suffering. “In ‘These Colors Don’t Run,’ I’m trying to invite people – to invite myself, really – to keep having the conversations, even the ones we’re afraid of, to respond to the fear with curiosity, rather than grasping at control or intimidation,” he says. “I think there’s an integrated future where we can all sing together, but not if we run from one another or shoot first or build walls.” The Pinkerton Raid asks the most important question–“Why are we afraid?”–and beautifully reminds us that Lady Liberty’s torch is not easily extinguished.
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents “The Colors Don’t Run” by The Pinkerton Raid: