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Our America

The Awakening of Dignity

- By Manuel Garcia

The ongoing crisis in Chile has brought the country to a standstill, unsettling the daily lives of all citizens. However, it has done more than just that. Mass protests have a way of altering the personhood of everyone involved in ways previously unimagined. Over the last week, thirty days after the eruption of social unrest, I have talked extensively with four people from Santiago who have lived the uprising from the ground up. Here I will share some of their experiences and testimonies during this process. To the best of my knowledge, none of them know each other. Let me introduce them to you now.

Maria is thirty-eight years old, married and the mother of two. She is self-employed as a baker and works mostly from her home in La Pintana. La Pintana is one of the most spatially...


Our America

Waging Peace in Memory

- By Jason A. Higgins

One hundred and one years since the end of the First World War, militarism still pervades American culture, and our collective amnesia about our own history puts the world at great risk. In 1973, the year American forces pulled out of Vietnam, Kurt Vonnegut wrote, about the end of WWI:

“It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind. Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day...


Our America

The Kids are Right

- By The Editors

(Hamburg, Germany. Early estimates report over 50,000 protesters today, participating in the Global Climate Strike.)

In a recent, as yet unpublished work, the Italian writer and activist Erri De Luca salutes the youth of today and welcomes the rise and return of a generation of activists: "Today’s youth know the risks they run, but they also know, with greater force and reason, the avalanche of accumulated ruin hanging over them. They know it’s there, perched on the slope above them, ready to fall with the next increase in temperature. For this reason, the vocal chord of a collective prophet vibrates through them."

When it comes to the environment devastion we've wrought, the crimes of my own and all previous generations are unpardonable. And yet...


Our America

Our America: President Skunk

- By Jim Hicks

Yep. Though I probably should avoid mixed mammaliaphors, I do think I’ve belled that cat. Skunks have a certain well-earned reputation; it’s not one they earn by making friends. Few—at least outside their immediate families, which tend to be small—can stand to be around them for long. One wonders how they ever manage to reproduce, and one may well suspect that a certain amount of inbreeding is involved. One thing is clear: when this animal is nearby, you’ll know it. The stench remains and is notoriously difficult to remove. Often, when something has been thoroughly soiled, the only remedy is burning.

The power of a skunk is singular, it has to be said. All the skunk needs do is threaten to spew—which it does indeed do, we’ve seen that...


Our America

Lazarus and Liberty

- By Peter I. Rose

Extending “World Wide Welcome”

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!”
cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my...


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