Drawing in a Time of Fear & LiesWeekend

The Stain on Our Flag

We thought humans had evolved.

Kate Kretz, “Untitled (flag)” (2008), hand embroidery on deconstructed flag, batting, with padded center, 22.5 x 104 inches (courtesy of the artist)

You, with your lizard brain fueled by fear
With the anger that cycles through your body, endlessly searching for a target:
You’re such easy prey for white collars, who trick you to look the other way…
Not at the futures they themselves stole from your children,
But (over there!) at those bodies graced with more melanin.

We thought that the lesson had been learned (all you need is love, love…)
We thought humans had evolved
We thought that once we made the laws
Forcing you to live alongside those you had named as Other,
You would see
That they are just like you, your parents, and your children,
And your heart would soften.

But you, with amygdalas tied in tight knots of hatred,
Repeat this tired, unenlightened story, as old as mankind.
You are the cancer that we prayed had gone into remission.
You are the wound that keeps opening.
You are the stain on our flag.

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