Author: Charles Dickey

For Tamir, Who Was Stolen.

Today is Tamir Rice’s birthday.
He was real. He is real.
He was human.
Read this piece.
Be human.

Stacia L. Brown

Photo: Fox8.com Photo: Fox8.com

The first thing I am pocketing is your name. Tamir, like something uttered in prayer. We will all be saying it so much in the days to come, it will sound like a chorus of hushes in a holy place, a sacrifice, not of praise but of sorrow. I am drawing it close to me now, listening to the sound of it on my lips first, before all our commentary turns you into a cause, foreign and distant.

I’ve become adept at this, arriving at the scene early, committing key details to memory. After I turned your name — Tamir — over on my tongue, I Googled it. It means tall or owner of dates or palm tree or wealthy. Your father says you were, in fact, tall for your age. You were, in fact, wealthy in the ways that wind up mattering: of spirit, of intellect…

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Mother’s Day is Here to Transform White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy into Something Beautiful

I’m inspired by Mother’s Day. It’s wonderful to know that this is not, after all, a Hallmark holiday, but one that has its roots in compassion, healing, and opposition to war and violence.

julia ward howe

I’ve griped on here quite a bit about how alienating I find consumer capitalist culture, so to be reminded that one of the buy-things-to-show-you-care holidays actually has its origins in radical anti-violence activism and to see that it is actively being reclaimed this year by women of color activists gives my heart some serious joy.

And, because bell hooks has made a career out of insightful cultural criticism and does such a great job articulating the structure of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, here she is:

Earth and Freedom Song

A wilderness, a wilderness
calling, calling. When I was younger,
I had a fantasy of foraging
in the ruins of western civilization.
The truth of the zombie apocalypse
is that the worst predators are human.

A wilderness is calling us,
a wonderness. Earth is shifting
and our signpost won’t direct us
no more. We need a human technology.
We need music springing around us,
drums, voices, strings. Grass underfoot.

Spring is calling us, wilder now,
wondering at how long, how long
we’ve been downpressed. No more.
We make a human technology,
music and language, the laughter
of Earth working. Grass underfoot.

Flowers burst and we’re wilder here,
raving, calling in the dawn. Snowmelt
and rising rivers, up to our shins
in richness, rich mud. And all the colors
come out. Now, now we move,
shake out from this chrysalis. Wings.

Metamorphosis. We are seeds, we sing
an Earth song. These tones are our home,
we feel our blood rise to the occassion
and how long, we wonder at how long,
but no more. There’s a freedom coming
we’ve none of us known before.