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.




  1. Milton, how about the graffiti of grace on railroad cars? We see trains traveling through the river bottom here in Colorado Co., Texas, with the most amazing art on them. I’m headed out with my paint to find a boxcar. Thank you for this word of hope.

  2. AFtermath is the perfect word choice. I did watch over here in Singapore and it was exhausting, then disappointing to see that it doesn’t matter what this man does or how he fails, his supporters will still support. It’s all turning me into a cynic mixed with a little despair, these days.

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