Driving through Dearborn Michigan listening to Nina Simone sing ‘Thandewye’. Just had my required mindblowing Lebanese meal on my last night in greater Detroit.
The restaurant was playing Arab news of the Gaza Massacre, showing the way the airstrikes hit all over, showing children, casualties from the university, old folks covered in blood. As sensationalist as American media is, we rarely see the images of people directly impacted by war.
Tupac was quoted saying that he started rhyming after learning how images from the Vietnam War helped make people aware to how wrong it was to be there. He thought if he could give people raw images of the suffering in his community, things would change.
Now we see and hear too much staged reality TV and pundit pontification, and too little of the images and stories of the real world, where planet- and life-threatening disparity is increasing every day.
I head into the work of the next year wanting what I always want: better. Less incompetence, more presence, a better world, for people to be better versions of themselves. I want it all and now!