Would you take a knee?

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In my rather compromised memory, there was a time when about the only time I heard the National Anthem was at the beginning of a rodeo. Then of course, I was exposed to other sporting events, like high school, college, and pro football. And of course the anthem is prevalent at the international competition of the Olympic Games.

The Anthem has the ability to move me to tears. I confess that I bought into the old-school notion that Francis Scott Key wrote the anthem to honor the bravery of our young armed services in their battle for independence from England. In addition to the imagery of the flag waving amid smoldering ramparts, the song also takes me back to that time in my youth when my pony and I tried valiantly to keep up with the big horses as they snaked expertly around the dusty arena to the rousing Stars…

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Saturday in The Park

Last week I posted photos of a chill afternoon at San Francisco’s Alamo Square Park.

This week Alamo Square Park played host to a different sort of event:

“Counter-protesters converged on San Francisco’s Alamo Square Saturday afternoon even after local officials had called off a planned and permit-granted protest by right-wing group Patriot Prayer the day before.”

Newsweek

I love San Francisco.

We like to start our anti-fascist marches with a group hug:

The Speaker: “I want you to go right up to that person and give that person a big ass hug!”

I couldn’t get into Alamo Square Park; it was packed and marchers were still gathering.

A young woman on the curb with a sign in her lap:

A photograph taken at today's Anti-Fascist rally at Alamo Square Park.
Shame on Nazis

The next time a Trump drone says ‘antifa thug’ send out this picture:

A photograph taken at today's Anti-Fascist rally at Alamo Square Park.
Alt-Right=Neo-Nazis

Unite against racism:

A photograph taken at today's Anti-Fascist rally at Alamo Square Park.
Unite to Fight Racism

Demonstrate empathy:

A photograph taken at today's Anti-Fascist rally at Alamo Square Park.
An Injury to one is an Injury to All

Black Lives Matter!

A photograph taken at today's Anti-Fascist rally at Alamo Square Park.
Black Lives Matter

A flyer in one of the corner stores around Alamo Square Park in San Francisco.

A photograph taken of a flyer in one of the Corner Stores around Alamo Square Park in San Francisco
A flyer in one of the corner stores around Alamo Square Park in San Francisco.

No citizen is free until all citizens are free:

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017

 

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I Am That Child

I am that child who watched in horror
as a policeman shot and killed my
Father.

I am that child gunned down
at school; my last words were,
Help me! I don’t want to be here!”

I am that child tortured and beaten
and left in a field to die because
I am gay.

I am that child who listens
fearfully as a rich white lady
on TV says that my life does
not matter.

I am every child who has ever gone to
bed hungry

And cold

And homeless

And illiterate

And sick

Because of the evil of adults who know what
they do.

And If I grow up I will shit on your streets

And feed your prisons

And live as evidence of your contempt for life

And the human spirit

And your bestial need for more.

I am the battered face of your hate.

Look at me!

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
I Am the Battered Face of Your Hate

 

Poem and Image (c) Rob Goldstein 2016

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So You Want to Wear a Safety Pin

If you are thinking of wearing a safety pin, read this.

What a Witch

rainbow-safety-pin

Great. This is a necessary behavior in the face of the election of the most overtly racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti- gender and sexual minority candidate in the history of the modern United States. You know the rhetoric of his campaign was wrong. It was the very worst thing about America and you want to do what you can to combat the result. Good. Do that.

But don’t do it without a plan. Because the very last thing a tense situation needs is someone full of good intentions but with no knowledge of de-escalation tactics or self-defense. Your intentions are not a tangible shield. If you don’t make a plan, you will get yourself or the person you are trying to defend very killed.

Let’s avoid that.

So make a plan.

Some of you can stop reading now. You have, or know how to make a plan and you don’t need…

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