O grand charioteers!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

O grand charioteers!
souls who hitch onto Mars,
ride his endless fury
above sun-baked mountains
to sacred acres where
mortals seldom tread free

across the many skies
scorched by stern suns, until
a motherly moon heals
lets stout heroes stand tall;
only true explorers
see nature’s gift – complete

Yet fated, ever forward

Dawson Falls, British Columbia Taken by Steven Mackay
Dawson Falls, British Columbia
Taken by Steven Mackay

Where waters end, I do not know
only at this rupture, where streams shed their
dark overcoats, and fly
pure
like down from geese
untouched by mankind’s grime

liberated
patterns of shifting, sliding glass
each drop flies, free
yet fated
ever forward
soon, the wonder
childlike
regains  a somber character;
the journey is not yet done.

Hate is societal, not genetic

Hate is societal, not genetic

This photo was taken at a Klan rally on September 5th, 1992 in the town of Gainsville, Georgia on September. The rally was the usual fare for modern-day white supremacists- a few people trying to rile the town up, a huge amount of police, and the media looking for a story.

Todd Robertson took the photo, as the backup photographer for the local daily. It was a late addition to section B of the paper, and though it was never published widely, it has endured. The Southern Poverty Law Center resurrected it for a booklet about combating hate, and it’s finally gained currency on the internet. Though it will never the kind of legacy that MLK pulling a burning cross out of his lawn or other iconic photos of the 1960s, it has a clear and immediate visual message.

The young boy, who was “Josh” according to his mother, embodies how hate is passed down through generations of social reinforcement, not a “bigotry gene” or such. A young child is not a racist nor a chauvinist. They are not a Christian nor an atheist nor a Muslim. They are not libertarians nor paleo-conservatives nor communists. These identifiers are formed over the course of a lifetime- by parents, the community, the church, the school. Some are raised by Klan members, others by tolerant and open-minded individuals. The path to being accepting and embracing diversity is not the same for everyone. While some people are raised and educated in a way that makes such behavior natural and easy, others have to break through years of lies and vitriol.

The journey is a park stroll, or a marathon. And where you start is just chance.