Battery Yates

Battery Yates
Battery Yates, Sausalito, CA

Sunday, November 13, 2016


I am wounded deeply and yet I stand,
Aside the sea, facing waves that crash, winds
That lash with hate and fear and ignorance.
Despite the pain my thoughts instead close in
On truths, once self-evident, now mere goals
That to meet we many must strive as one.
As I heal I know a scar will remain,
My robes stained with the blood of those who yearned
To think speak join grieve love serve move breathe free.
And still I rise, to let my torch shine bright,
To illuminate that scar, to drive out
The darkness we commit against others.
My soul to thrive must act, as liberty
And equality die from apathy.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Evil of American Fascism

America has normalized, accepted, and embraced fascism at the highest levels of our national government. It is our moral obligation, no matter who we are, to oppose such evil.

"Fascism" and "evil" are strong words. They are not to be thrown around lightly. Since the rise of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee in 2015, our media and civil society have chattered, far too quietly, whether our now President-elect qualifies as a "fascist." A historian of fascism, Robert Paxton, claimed in a Slate interview that it's "enormously tempting" to use the term to criticize one's opponents. Doing so without historical awareness and sophistication risks diminishing the evil that Italian fascism, German Nazism, Japanese militarism, and other regimes committed against their peoples. In this reluctance, Paxton is wise. Fascism is more complicated than simple right-wing authoritarianism. And using the term in a debate tends to end conversation rather than promote it.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

On Dread

It's been almost two days since the Presidential Election of 2016 and I still feel a bit numb.

The word that stuck in my mind today was "dread." I honestly don't remember when I felt anything as serious as "dread" before. I've endured a lot of moments of pain in my adult life: when I learned in March that my liver was ailing on account of my allergy medication; when my father collapsed last fall from a weakened heart; when I sat motionless before my parents and came out as bisexual a couple months after Obama's election; when I feared whether I would pass my general exams in grad school earlier that year; when George W. Bush won reelection in 2004; when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center on live CNN.

But in retrospect none of these moments carried with them anything close to "dread." Some even seem silly as I write them out. After all, a lot of folks suffer great fear way more than I ever have, for reasons that no one can explain.