Atman is supported by the Council of West Hollywood – an amazing community organisation. Kevin Roose in the New York Times says “It raises an important question for the Biden administration: How do you unite a country in which millions of people have chosen to create their own version of reality?”. How do we rebuild a community. Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian says “to prosper, democracy needs a certain kind of public sphere, on in which citizens engage in vigorous argument on the basis of shared facts”.
Without mutual trust, without the belief that we can agree on some simple truths ie “who won the election”, “global warming is happening”, “covid is a killer” we become increasingly separated from each other. We increasingly stick to media channels that confirm our prejudices and dissenters are robbed of their humanity. Anyone who disagrees with me is somehow less than human and deserves neither respect, liberty – or sometimes life!
“Make America Love Again” sets a new path, an aspiration. We do not pretend everything was ever all right. Obama says – “Do we care to match the reality of America to its ideals”? This is a time to ask – what is or was ever good about America? Obama says – “I am not yet ready to abandon the possibility of America”. This is the message of “Make America Love Again” The Possibility of America as a beacon of democracy, hope and justice in an increasingly unfair and angry world.
The darker forces are emerging in the USA as we speak, attempts to curtail voting rights, guns in Congress. In the UK we are being told that we have enough vaccine thanks to Brexit. Yet hundreds of companies are moving to Europe!
Today Is Holocaust Memorial Day – I would like to acknowledge the shared experience of all minorities living in a majoritiarian culture – vulnerability and the fear that we might be singled out randomly and unexpectedly at any moment of the day or night. the the knock may come at the door, or at the gas station or in a cafe. Someone may see us, yet not see us, we are objects of fear and hate. Sadly this experience is still prevalent in every culture, at the moment I am not so sure.
It is just over one week since THE BIG CHANGE. It is hard to believe, there is – for now – a quietness – a space in the political and emotional universe – yet we can be sure there is more to come. WE know that the universe is held together by dark matter – without it there would be no gravity. So we wait, most of us outside, we know stuff is happening, we feel it. The unbelieveable, the ridiculous, the “they couldn’t make it up” has happened. What is next?
Hi, my name is Vincent and I live in Fort Greene Brooklyn, with my neighbors and friends. I’ve been here since 2000 but have been in Brooklyn for 36 years. I love this place. We’re not as diverse as Queens, the most diverse place on Earth, but we’re working on it. Diversity is glue in my borough. So when Eric Garner was choked to death by police. I couldn’t breathe. I decided that I had to get involved in any effort to make a difference. It wasn’t hard to do. I joined the first Black Lives Matter march that landed at city hall where I met lots of people and I got involved in other marches and actions – Vince
When I watched the video of the song Make America Love Again, based on a Spike Lee comment, it set me thinking. Can a nation experience love? Love is usually considered a personal thing –intimate, invisible, subjective. It is felt by one person for another person or for an animal or object. People love – but countries? It is difficult to imagine them having emotions and moons, except in some highly metaphorical sense. Was the song meaningless, I wondered? Well meant but not much help? I have a literal mind and I couldn’t help pursuing this: what would it mean for a country to love? I am going to rephrase this question to make it specific. What the title implies, I think, is that love can be a political as well as a personal virtue. – Nick Inman
Am I watching a Bunuel film? Is this a scene from Fellini or the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. I can’t quite believe what is happening..it has been going on for some time but 6.1.21 is a date that will be forever etched in my mind, my consciousness and every cell in my body. So now I reflect on my project “Make America Love Again” – am I dreaming this up? Did America ever really love? – a nation founded on slavery and exploitation. This is the question and the message of my song and this project.