The Angels of Emanuel AME


Drawn by Madeleine, age 7.

This drawing started at a quiet Mount Pleasant home with a simple yet difficult question by Madeleine: “Why is the world full of broken people?”

Melanie, the mother of two including young Madeleine, said while Madeleine asked a lot of questions about what happened Wednesday night, Madeleine’s twin sister Emma Kate talked very little about it.

“Why can’t the good people teach the bad people to be good?” Madeleine asked her mother, another question that seems simple to a 7-year-old mind but is anything but simple for an adult. “Just because someone is different doesn’t mean you have to do something bad to them.”

During the conversation, Melanie says her daughter also asked to see a picture of the church where the shooting happened. Madeleine also Googled instructions on how to draw an angel.

Her mother gave Madeleine photos of the nine victims.

“Madeleine wanted the Angels to be a good representation,” Melanie said.

So Madeleine armed with blank sheets of paper and crayons looked on the faces of the people killed — Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, and Myra Thompson — and started to draw.

Mother Emanuel AME Church stands large in the picture, taking up most of the page. Flying above are the nine slain church members, most holding a peace symbol or a heart.

Three have their arms outstretched, seemingly welcoming an embrace.

Defeat the Anti-Democratic


Arthur Rothstein photo. Logs being floated down the White Salmon River at the junction with the Columbia River, Oregon. 1936. FSA/LOC.

Republicans have decreed the end of America began after the last term of George W. Bush. His $700 billion TARP bailout for the world’s biggest banks is met with silence by both parties; as Democrats fight over war votes, its obscene off-book budget of death seldom receives the focus of the banks and financing new opportunity safety nets.

The focus should be on the broader political economy: Halliburton is no different than the banks; BP is remainder of why we need strict environment regulations and safety measures; Duke Power’s pollution of North Carolina’s Dan River and the fish kills in the Catawba-Wateree basin from 82 million tons of coal ash (containing arsenic, mercury, among deadly toxins) has much in common with Flint, where the state is the agent that turned off clean water, failed to prep the new source and approved water that damages skin and brains, and slowly kills.

Overlooked examples are replete with missed connections between real crises: a woman jailed in Indiana for an abortion, teenagers shot dead for “attitude,”crazy fears over diseases rather than the tough work of education, the return of white supremacy (its faithful canvasing for Trump in Iowa!)–Bernie’s right, who carries about emails?

Start with hatred and deconstruct it: its venom has become talking points, debated for its influence on voters minds. But real issues weigh on our souls, waiting to be judged. A new vision of real connections must defeat candidates who are anti-democratic.

The Time-Loop Party – The New York Times

Looking for the Moral Arc


Chicago youth waiting in line to attend a movie. ca. 1936

The kids in the New Era don’t remember the Old Paradigm, its variations, its code or virtues; instead they have entered a world dominated by invisible wealth and retail serfdom, overlaid with absolutes of ephemera–77,000 “liked’ the make-up meeting between Kanye and Wiz over twitter posts involving a former girlfriend. From outliers and spree killers to couch surfing and snapchat, they live in a world of temporary absolutes. Their passion moves like the wave in stadiums; massive participation, short term, gone. Can Bernie ride this wave? Can a generation without limits discipline itself? What will they craft from freedom? Will they vote?

In the other planetary tier are the Old School, warring coalitions still carrying the biases and teachings of virtue and hate from early generations, a group whose hooray is a last cause. They are looking not so much for settled resolutions on big issues (race, safety nets, the environment, marriage and abortion, women’s rights, whether opportunity restricts freedom, government, justice) as they are seeking wins–clear victory over the returning zombies that have haunted the paths of both sides.

So Hillary the zombie slayer goes to Flint, an Old School, New World battleground. Bernie remains behind. His view of identity politics and poverty is tied to income inequality and big banks.

If one candidate integrates these two schools, these warring souls, America’s dilemma will step progressively along its moral arc and promise.

Hillary Has ‘Half a Dream’ – The New York Times