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    Celebrating July 4th, Lesson on Repentance

    I attended two different churches on the Sunday before July 4th. They incorporated the holiday differently in their worship. One church had each military division carry their respective flags to the stage while the orchestra and the men’s choir played a rousing tune. Then six men clad in green army gear from World War 2, ran down the stage and lifted the American flag, reenacting the famous Iwo Jima flag raising. It was an inspiring production that brought everyone to their feet. When the pastor preached, he made sure to credit God for the blessings of America and that they were celebrating the cost of freedom and the men in…

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    America, My America

    America, My America Though you say I am not yours, though you pissed all over my front door with your black graffiti hissing “Go back home chink!” you are still my America.       Because I believe in you, not in your greatness but in your capacity to repent. Though you think you are great — drunk with blood, and puke your vulgarity, you are still my America. For when you are sober, you are an inspired poet. Your song of independence is painfully beautiful. Though you don’t believe in your own rhetoric, I believe in the words that constitute you, my doubting poet, that we are all endowed by the…

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    America as Idea

    For the first six years in America, we lived as illegals, but I did not know it. My father kept the fear of deportation to himself. His visa was approved by a bureaucratic mistake that he did not bother to correct. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan offered amnesty through the Immigration Reform and Control Act, and we became legal. To mark this freedom from having a pathway to citizenship, we moved out of our roach-infested apartment east of Queens and into a house on Long Island where the American dream awaited us. On Wednesday evening — I still remember, just two weeks in our new place — we returned from…

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    Why Does the American Dream Frighten Those In Power?

      The call of the prophet is to call one’s nation to repentance, to courageously expose the hypocrisies and contradictions between dreams and reality. America has to be awoken from the stupor of false dreams. The second call of the prophet is to be a poet, to speak of the dream with such imagination that hope is animated, that vision is sharpened to see a new way forward, and that feet are strengthened to walk toward it. The full post at Sojourner

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    I Am the Immigrant

    “The immigration ban stirred memories of the racial slurs I face/d, and how it has been used in American history to dehumanize the other making it easier, even a perverse patriotic duty, to reject, oppress and finally kill the alien/foreigner; but ultimately, the person we dehumanize is ourselves. Especially for America, built on the idea as the land of immigrants, the battle over immigration is a battle over the soul/identity of America.” Please read the full text at tuck magazine. (http://tuckmagazine.com/2017/02/21/poetry-736/) — I am yellow and black and brown and mulatto. I am the chink and the gook you confuse I am the jap you fenced like a dog I…