They don’t speak for me.

American nazi white supremacists declare themselves patriots. I am an American. I am white. I am a patriot. I am a Christian. Make no mistake. They do not speak for me.

A former wizard declares, “When you’re under attack … you panic and you do things that are stupid and you do things that are wrong.” He does not speak for me.

No. If you are not a racist, when you are under attack…you defend yourself and the oppressed. You have no need to wait for darkness to intimidate with hellfire and you do not fear the light. You desire to expose a culture that forced humans into bondage and mistreated those separated and declared as “other.”

Knowing that the past cannot be undone you work to correct, for future generations, those icons, monuments and mementos that obscure reality however brutal or distasteful.

I am a Christian. I always believed in the teaching of Luke 6:31 to “treat others as we wish to be treated,” yet I left the church among other compelling reasons, because the far right sufficiently created the broad perception that all Christians believe what they believe. I no longer wish to associate myself with the lunacy. They do not speak for me.

According to ADL, “One central tenet [of Christian Identity of the far right] is the belief that non-whites were created by God not at the time that God made “man,” but rather when he created the “beasts of the field.” This does not speak for me.

The American president claims business acumen, but alienates top business leaders who flee in conscientious objection while in desperation, he vomits late and hollow condemnations into a microphone. Meanwhile, he pokes at a madman holding Oppenheimer’s recipe, fearless as a child who has not yet grasped the concept of consequence. He does not speak for me.

In education, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor at Princeton said today in a New York Times Op-Ed piece, “In the coming school years, those who are quick to defend the rights of white nationalists and neo-Nazis to speak on campuses must be just as vigilant about protecting the rights of faculty and students to speak out against them — or risk revealing their hypocrisy.”

Exclusions of names and use of lower case are deliberate. They do not speak for me.

Terror: Old School

While digging for recipes, I discovered a booklet published in 1945 by Sealtest, a company known best in the Philadelphia region for its ice cream. Its forward illustrates an American perspective just after World War II that declares the end of terror on the world stage.  It implores communities, parents in particular, to take stock of its children’s health as an important part of citizenship.  What’s your take?

Sealtest forward20170804_11550928

Note the zip code for New York City.

As the Pram Rolls Full Circle

Lately I have meditated on clarity in an effort to conjure specific memories. I have purposefully attempted to attach sights, sounds and smells to each so that they become vivid.

The result of one such attempt is a poem that I wrote and posted this weekend called The Pram. For illustration, I added a stock photo that looked as similar to the one I recalled as I could find.

I received an email from my mom (who read the poem) with this photo attached.

Snoozing on the porch

This is me in the pram.

I remembered.

Mind blown.

Nothing Good Happens at the Edge of Town

Inspired by Edge of Town,

a show by portrait artist Warren Keyser,

coupled with my own reflections about the effects of

heroin addiction on people who have loved and lost an addict,

I wrote

this piece.