The birthplace of the racist, white supremecist kkk is my homestate of Tennessee. Pulaski.
I am back in NYC for a week. It is unseasonably cold in NYC it seems. I am coming from Brasil’s summer.
I only have one sweatshirt as I didn’t need much warm clothing in Senegal last week. I rewear the same sweatshirt.
I bought the sweatshirt at a shop in São Paulo. It has a white ghost on the front of it, enmeshed with other pictures and colors.
I am in Bed-Stuy a historically black neighbourhood, with street names that help remind or point to the south: DeKalb is but one of them.
I am aware of the white ghost on the front of my sweatshirt in a profound way.
I cover the face of the ghost with a scarf. I am chilled.
New data. New location.
A school shooting here. A police shooting there.
A pork-barrel politic (layered over gerrymandered districts) here. A far-flung war (layered atop predatory military recruitment) there.
I have heard that blood is blue before the oxygen hits it. And red when it is coming out of the body. Tennessee, red state, does not hide its blood in that respect.
It’s integrity, like that of neighbor states and those not explicitly connected by borders, has been trumped.
I don’t have to work so hard for this metaphor of blue and red to work.
America, you are black.
And so is your intoxicated and forgetful heart.
I have written before about the residual violence of spirit present in the rural south. A geography of historical violence that is related to present violence… spilt well beyond its state and regional borders. Here is one such piece in the Make Art with Purpose (MAP) 2013 Workbook.