Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Fables of Faubus (on repeat)

It has been one full week since the United States elected Donald Trump to President.  This week has felt like years.  Social Media has become a task even more difficult to champion than it was during the height of Bernie Sanders Memedom.  I am tired of the internet.  I also depend on the internet.  Without it there is absolutely no audience for my artwork or my creative thoughts.  Without it, my creative community is limited to my neighbors and knows nothing of NYC or the West Coast.  Without it, I do not sell much work.  Without it, I do not get more shows.  And yet, with it, this is as depressing as it goes.

I read, and wonder, where is the love?  Why is everybody bickering?  Why am I bickering?  I did not come here to bicker.  I do not disagree with the majority of the people out there.  But I am tired.  I have been attempting to read the paper, to keep up, to know what is happening.  Sadly, the plot line has been similar to Hans Keilson's "Life Goes On," thus far.  But then today, I read the front page of the New York Times and there was news of series of beatings conducted by corrections officers in Marcy, New York.  I just felt so overwhelmingly sad.  More sad than I have felt thus far.  It seems that prisons and jails should be relatively safe, at least safe from violence by officers. I spent so much time with people in uniform when I was a child riding around with my dad.  There were so many very good people working in that policing community.  Marcy is not far from where I grew up.  This news hit me hard.  It felt like the root of all that is getting in between us.  Multiple inmates claimed to be called derogatory names for race and orientation.  Multiple inmates filed claims of broken noses, contusions on the head, being used as battering rams through dry wall.  This is not the world I want. A few officers should not be able to sully the name of all officers, and no inmate should ever be victim of such crimes.

The article listed what the inmates were in prison for.  One fellow was listed at serving 17 years for drug possession.  I don't know anything about sentencing, but 17 years is an awful long time.  I started to think about what one does when they get home.  Do they even have a home when they get out?  Seventeen years!!  That is just a little less than half of the time I've been on this planet.  I drew this blind contour from the portrait of one of the inmates that was printed in the New York Times.  

All last week I was consumed by two parallel lines of thought.  One was that white citizens do have power which is at a higher level than other races in this country.  It is undeniable.  We don't think about it.  We don't have to, because we are white.  But other races do.  People with different sexual orientations do.  Men seem to over women.  I've been reading W.E.B. DuBois's The Souls of Black Folk, trying to get a grasp on what it is to not have this power.  It is some sad reading.  Hopefully there are others who will read it as well.  It seems important, vital, to our improvement to understand the challenges that many people face.

I am interested in the structure of all things natural, and of things which are manmade that take root in the natural.  I think that perhaps if we understand the structure of everything better, we can come to more open conclusions, more inclusive decision making, decision making that will benefit everyone.

Inside the human body, barring any surgeries or birth defects we all have a knee that looks like the one above.  We all walk in buildings which have a structure like the one above.  We all witness insects which can be broken down into the parts above.  There is something wrong with the structure of our nation right now, but the people possess goodness at their hearts.  Let us find a way to help everyone in the best way that we can.  

I am not scared of the economy.  I am scared of creating more division.  Please don't brainwash us.  Please don't teach us to hate.  Please, stop being so ridiculous.

"Oh, Lord, don't let 'em shoot us!
Oh, Lord, don't let 'em stab us!
Oh, Lord, don't let 'em tar and feather us!
Oh, Lord, no more swastikas!
Oh, Lord, no more Ku Klux Klan!

Name me someone who's ridiculous, Dannie.
Governor Faubus!
Why is he so sick and ridiculous?
He won't permit integrated schools.

Then he's a fool! Boo! Nazi Fascist supremists!
Boo! Ku Klux Klan (with your Jim Crow plan)

Name me a handful that's ridiculous, Dannie Richmond.
Faubus, Rockefeller, Eisenhower
Why are they so sick and ridiculous?

Two, four, six, eight:
They brainwash and teach you hate.
H-E-L-L-O, Hello."


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