Didn't vote for him? You and 256 million other Americans. The quintessential hashtag of the '16 cycle that promises to resonate as powerfully over the next four years as it has in the aftermath of election day. We won't wear out -- and neither will our protest's refrain.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And so we live in MLK's legacy -- as the pestilence of prejudice finds its footholds, so must we find our voices. For if ever there was a doubt as to the unreason of racism, it is this simple truth: that out of Africa and into the streets, not one among humanity can trace our taproots anywhere else.
And so when the disengenues cry afoul to the chants of BLM that "All lives matter!" as if to invoke some enlightened salve, then we may declaim that if that was indeed their credo, then to defend all lives would begin with where all life began. So long as those among us who trace more modern roots to the source suffer the un-breaths of injustice, those with more distant ties might yet hear the voice of our common ancestor still latent within, screaming, that so long as even one among us remains subject to oppression, so do we all.
The most insidious element of the new political order -- the so-called "alt-right" -- needs no introduction. Just deletion, and we can get on with resetting our discourse to higher grounds.
The tripartite blueprint for #theResistance is simple: (1) resist the new administration's initial policy implementations that threaten to undermine America's core values; (2) persist long enough in that opposition to erode the administration's political capital and stalemate those measures through political attrition; and finally (3) insist on and advocate in furtherance of our endangered ideals to ultimately effect policy and representational change. The risk lies not in following the pathway, but in losing it.
$23.00There was a time when the United States of America was intent on building bridges - literally - with our international partners, to unite and accelerate our collective economies and cultures. The International Gateway Bridge, an example of the divide-spanning region-building drive, spanned the Rio Grande between the cities of Brownsville, Texas and Matamaros, Mexico. Opening to tourism and trade in at the height of the roaring twenties, it underscores the power and promise of the bold connections that made America great in the first place -- and the insecurities of a retreat behind our walls.
In difficult times it is only natural for each of us to doubt in hollow moments the efficacy of our actions. That caught in the overwhelming gyre of human and inhuman events, we lose our will and the power to make it manifest.
Yet even as the climate - political, personal, and planetary - grows ever more polluted, we can and must remind ourselves that we have agency yet. Collectively and individually. Over our selves. Over our communities. Over our government. Over our planet. That inherent in that agency is a simple principle: that change can and will be effected. By whom and in what direction remains the only question left to you.
According to legend, the slave hymn "Follow the Drinkin' Gourd" served as both inspirational and instructional -- that by following the lines of the Gourd (the Big Dipper) to the North Star, runaway slaves could find their way to freedom.
A century and a half since the Emancipation Proclamation, the quest for freedom continues, evolving in time with the modes of oppression that engender it. While we nod to the past and the progress made toward liberty, we must acknowledge the ongoing struggles of the present -- and yet too the promise of enfranchising the future. So cast your voice and gaze to the song-lit skies, while marching ever onward and up toward that mythical north of our latent dreams.
$23.00History's axiom endures -- that empires are built not on borders secured but frontiers pursued. America's essential character derives from its willingness to brave new waters, lands, and ideas -- and not the insecurity of ensuring its limits. This variant depicts America before the expedition of Lewis and Clark into its interior -- when the great unknown beckoned America's adventurers, pioneers, prospectors, and explorers with far more power than fading lines cast in the sand.
$23.00History's axiom endures -- that empires are built not on borders secured but frontiers pursued. America's essential character derives from its willingness to brave new waters, lands, and ideas -- and not the insecurity of ensuring its limits. This variant depicts America's commitment to science and exploration of the infinite unknown beyond our skies -- and not the ever-receding grounds of yesterday's limitations.
With a political dialogue that has veered into a hyperbolic and misguided search for a golden-hazed American past, it is imperative we recognize the reality that time -- and liberty -- march inevitably onward and forward. Despite our best efforts to bend back its arc, the future is.
To suggest that what it is is female isn't simply a feminist trope, but a reminder that the future lacks limitation and definition altogether, that it is infinite in the scope of its possibilities. Because if ever there was a signature ideal of America's 'great-again' past, it has always been that promise -- of possibility. That, after all -- and before it too -- is liberty.
*Design note: looking left and still to the future, our design takes its profile cues from Hillary herself.
$23.00The Gadsden first flew as a rallying banner of the American Revolution, a symbol of the colonies' uncoiling resistance. More recently, it has been co-opted as a symbol of the American right-wing and its pretension to speak for the American revolutionary ideal. Help reclaim and recenter our symbols while underscoring the common values that still connect our polarized political discourse. Join, or die.
The Arabic phrase - بارك الله امريكا - or "bark allah 'amrika" - translates literally to "God bless America," a song and sentiment unrestrained by notions of ethnicity, creed, or culture. Though in recency it has edged into a rallying cry of the right, if ever there was a time to reclaim its universal appeal to a power even higher than the governments of men, it is now.
Irving Berlin famously changed his original lyrics to "God Bless America" calling on God to guide America "to the right" to avoid any confusion with the political right -- asking instead for aid "through the night." And though that night may be upon us, the star and crescent embody the proverbial "light from above," as well as the union of Islam and traditional American patriotism, beyond any parochial notion of either, and a call to solidarity: as Americans, we can and must do better.
In November of 1969, 89 Native American activists calling themselves the IOAT - Indians of All Tribes - and working under the Red Power banner, set out to "re-claim" the island of Alcatraz from the United States federal government by right of discovery. Despite a Coast Guard blockade, 14 protesters managed to make it onshore, and from there the occupation swelled to over 400 people. Ultimately lasting fourteen months, the Occupation of Alcatraz jump-started a stagnant national dialogue on Indian rights, directly impacted ensuing federal Indian policy, and set a precedent for all modern Indian activism, from the Wounded Knee incident to the more recent DAPL protests at Standing Rock, and the Native Nations Rise movement and march on Washington.
Our design in honor of the landmark occupation incorporates elements of artistic self-expression whose deep red traces are still visible on Alcatraz -- and in the Indian activist consciousness -- to this day.
Columbia, the Goddess of America. There was a time when the personification of the United States was fearless and female, and with all due respect to Uncle Sam, it's time to rally behind her once more -- for when America's foes are domestic, then those who have worn the yoke of domestication must lead the fight.
Liberty-Equailty-Sorority: the tripartite motto evokes not only the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen drafted by proto-feminist Olympe de Gouges during the French Revolution, but also the origins of feminist thought in the United States. Taking cues from de Gouges, Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Declaration of Sentiments - born of the famous Seneca Falls Convention and transcribed by Frederick Douglass - gave voice to the movement that persists today.
The timeless words are inset as a backdrop to Columbia's unyielding charge for liberty, sword and banner in hand. So take fast the folds of her skirt. For there are no tears into the fabric of a society more poignant and powerful than those that arise from a rallying cry.
$23.00Another instant classic rallying cry that promises to outdistance the election cycle from which it was born - and continue in the defense of our fundamental -- and increasingly threatened -- civil rights. But take heart: love, as always, trumps hate.
On April 22, 1970, a burgeoning grassroots environmental movement coalesced - and exploded - into a national moment of awakening. Hot on the heels of humanity's first escapes from earth's pull for the black heavens above, it was the vision that lingered in the rearview, of a fragile home on the brink of destruction that finally turned a voice into a movement.
And while we've made strides that would have then seemed unimaginable, recent events have made clear that our home's fate is still as desperate as the politics of those who would forsake her for profits. So even as they refuse to acknowledge the dangers implicit in the rising seas, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that they cannot ignore the threat of the rising tides that swell before them. Cause this land was made for you and me ...