It is the illusion of a presidency, not the real thing.
What is illusion? Isn’t all of life an illusion?
I was recently asked by board member Dan Jones to contribute artwork to the back page of Street Roots . Street Roots creates income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media that are catalysts for individual and social change. It also gives voice to those who cannot afford it. Which in this day is all the more urgent, as civil rights, privacy and the US constitution is continuously threatened. So many are awakening to their political voice as we see the threat of an authoritarian populist roll into for his first 100 days. How much longer you ask?
Time until trump leaves office?
1394. days. : 02. hours. : 59. minutes. : 39. seconds
Being a catalyst for social change.
This election cycle as we all know has been unprecedented on many levels. It is also the first time I felt compelled to get off my ass and do more than vote and then let things just roll along. I am old enough to remember the days of Ronald Reagan and the almost over night shift, I understand the pendulum swings, the body politic zigs and then zags. However, this one felt very different to me, as we witnessed populist candidates and a population fed-up with the status quo. Very angry people attending pro-Trump rally’s. I was shocked more than once, but the televised moment an older white male sucker punched a black male being escorted out of a rally, and then proudly stating “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.” All while the black man was arrested and the white man was post-interviewed? Something was drastically wrong with this set of events. Something shifted for me. For months I had been canvassing for Bernie Sanders, knowing what a long-shot a career politician, a compassionate populist that really had a track record of looking out for the marginalized, working class and oppressed populace. He was actually a part of the civil rights movement at the same time Trump was borrowing money from his father to begin building his false, vulgar and empty empire.
I finally awoke to the idea that it is our obligation as citizens to stand up to injustices and take action.
We are becoming numb detached to the suffering of our neighbors. The connections and resources we all share are becoming more and more abstract. We voyeuristically watch from the sidelines as someone is brutally maimed, punched, murdered and imprisoned. As removed witnesses we also become more and more complicit simply by not taking action. This year I pledged to use my skills to aid organizations, non-profits, communities that need any kind of graphic design assistance in order to balance the injustices. It is my hope that by shifting the dominant narrative we build a more tolerant, positive and civil debate about race, environmental and social injustices. The proof? Witnessing the rise of violence post-Trump election. The same violence he grossly promised to squelch with law and order? There is much work to be done for sure. For now we all will be presented with one tweeted distraction after another. Endorsed and sponsored by an icy-cold can of Fascism. If Budweiser can sell us American plutocracy, why not some good old US Fascism? Street Roots offers for a more inclusive, compassionate approach to solving problems like homelessness, poverty, addiction, inequality. It lives within the community and strives to be a part of the solution not just speak to it in the disassociated, narcissistic “Trumpian” language of reticence, shame and blame.