November 11, 2016

Hatred Can Never Make America Great

        This is a blog about block printing and juvenile fantasy.  I have never been explicitly political here and I don’t want to be political, although of course my general views on things have been quite clear all along, but today I cannot be silent.  As a straight, Christian person of European ancestry I feel a deep responsibility to confront and reject the hatred that people have been unleashing for months, and especially so now that Donald Trump has become
president-elect by fomenting and encouraging extreme hatred and violence.  It isn’t enough to stand aside from the thuggish acts of others - it’s essential to be an active ally to those immigrants, people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, and all others whose rights, safety, and even lives are now in increasing danger.  More than half of voters in the United States voted against Trump, and however horrifying it is to me that the margin was that slim, it’s still true that if we all refuse to accept racism, homophobia, misogyny, climate destruction, and the rest of the toxic brew of hatred, we actually can do something about it.  We actually can make America great.  Like so many of us, I feel pretty discouraged and helpless in the face of the tsunami of hatred that Trump is surfing, but I do know one thing absolutely and without doubt: it is not okay.  It is not a mark of superiority, it is not the American ideal, it is not in any way Christian, and to let it go unchecked leads not to greatness, but to vandalism, lynch mobs, concentration camps, police state, world war, and ultimate annihilation.  We’ve seen it before.  I do not want to see it again.  Please stand up and make it absolutely clear: the majority of American people cannot, must not, and will not tolerate a culture of hatred.
        And with the crashing bathos that marks troubled times during which life goes on, I have another open studio show this weekend.  This will be my first time at Mother Brook Arts & Community Center, and while I can’t help suspecting that people may not be in much of an art-buying mood, I still invite you to come by and see the work of over 50 artists in a single former school building.  After all, now more than ever it is vital that we come together and hold fast to what is true and beautiful.

[Pictures: “Walk Together Children” (in two parts), wood block prints by Ashley Bryan from Walk Together Children: Black American Spirituals, Atheneum, 1974.]

1 comment:

  1. "it’s essential to be an active ally to those immigrants, people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, and all others whose rights, safety, and even lives are now in increasing danger. " This is a call to action. Time for all of us to get up out of the armchair and raise some S*#!

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