Where Loyalties Lie: A Memorial

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I wonder at where Americans’ loyalties lie.

Only a third of us vote. We’re not particularly loyal to the republic.

While our Statue of Liberty invites the world to “give me your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” our national rhetoric threatens walls to keep them out. We’re not loyal to opportunity.

Nor do we care for our already-citizens. Here in the U.S., men are shot for being black. Legal scholar Patricia Williams calls killing black men a long-standing American ritual, a call and response we all know. As we continue to sing this raced violence, we’re not loyal to equality.

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Dear Banksy, I’ve Got Your Shadow

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Dear Banksy,

My daughter’s taken to tagging. In sidewalk chalk but still. She gets it.

Tagging’s not quite right here. No stylized name in block letters for my girl, and no hearts dotting her i’s either. Like J. M. Barrie, Maia knows that “to live will be an awfully big adventure,” so her mark is a message: beware world. She’s here and she’s ready for the adventure. And you should be wary, because she’s not.

Like I’ve given her Barrie’s Peter Pan, I’ve introduced her to your art. Now, like Wendy watches for Peter at her window, Maia waits for you to knock on hers and invite her to fly out over a larger landscape. Continue reading