Billy Porter performed for the first night of the Democratic National Convention. (C-SPAN)
Billy Porter closed the first night of a Democrat National Convention unlike any other with a powerful protest anthem.
The Democratic National Convention would usually bring with it images of politicians beaming to a packed arena crowd, waving with their spouses while waiting for the obligatory balloon drop.
This year, the event – at which the presidential and vice presidential candidate are officially nominated – resembled something like a Zoom call, with politicians, celebrity speakers and everyday Americans beaming in from home.
Among the night’s special guests was Pose star Billy Porter, who recorded a powerful performance of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”, backed by the song’s writer Stephen Stills on guitar and images of Black Lives Matter protesters.
He told MSNBC after the performance that the convention’s first night had left him feeling “excited” and as though “we have a shot”.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said on Monday (August 17).
“Michelle Obama said it best in her speech tonight, and it was so refreshing to hear somebody talk about it in plain truth. We have been double-thinking for three years, everybody’s been afraid to say exactly what the truth is, and the truth is Donald Trump has destroyed our country.
“We have one decision to make, and it is to get it back, and the way we do that is to participate.”
Michelle Obama tells DNC ‘Donald Trump is the wrong president’.
Porter was referring to the former first lady’s keynote speech, in which she spoke plainly about Donald Trump’s failings in a way neither her nor her husband have previously.
“Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country,” Obama said.
“He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”
It is what it is.
Obama referred back to her famous “When they go low, we go high” speech at the 2016 DNC.
“Going high is the only thing that works,” she said.
“But let’s be clear: going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty. Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top.”
Bernie Sanders also spoke during Monday night’s (August 17) broadcast in a clear attempt to unite all wings of the party under Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.
Calling on progressives to join the centrist pair, he said: “We need an unprecedented response, a movement like no other before, of people who are prepared to stand up and fight for democracy and decency and against greed, oligarchy and bigotry.
“And we need Joe Biden as our next president.”