I didn’t watch the debate last night
on purpose. I went to bed and woke
this morning to screens strewn with
the debris of comments and video
clips like empty beer cups and hot dog
wrappers left after a WWF cage match.
Orange is the new angry. No. It’s the
same old angry, the puke of privilege,
intending to set a tone that shouts down
anyone who dares to disagree, or even
suggest that his is not the only voice.
But there are other voices. Charlotte.
Tulsa. Aleppo. Dallas. (Insert city here.)
Your city. My city. Our country. Take
to the streets, my friends. Hold up
signs. Hold out your hands. Knock
on doors. Let’s turn to one another
on street corners and tell the truth
with our smiles, our words, our
willingness to not be defined by
our differences, to not be fueled
by our fears. Live beyond the lie
that there is not enough for
everyone. Trust that it takes all
of us to tell the whole story of
what it means to be an American.
Loud and powerful are not the same
thing; rich and right are not synonymns.
Human and hopeful; neighbor; friend;
just, kind, deferential, determined;
loving; engaging; tenacious; together:
a short list from the vocabulary of
freedom. Speak your words and add
them to the lexicon of lament and
promise. Write them on the walls of
our prisons, our police stations, our
capitols and our churches, our schools
and our state houses. Let the graffiti
of grace speak louder than the garbage
talk of a failed game show host.