Sunday, November 6, 2011

But There is Still Beauty

for my mom

Mom, I said, the more I read about history and politics and the world I live in, the more angry and depressed I get.

But there is still beauty.

But what about all the racism and housing discrimination and the fact that, until the 1970s, if you were a minority you could not buy a house in most parts of California.

But there is still beauty.

How, when we totally wiped out the Native Americans and stole land from Mexico and drilled oil wells on sacred burial sites?

But there is still beauty.

But even at church, with those fancy screens and parking structures and homeless people starving in the cold?

But there is still beauty.

Even with capitalism and commodifying land and slicing it up like a fatted cow instead of treating it with reverence?

But there is still beauty.

Even with millions who cannot afford health insurance and three wars at least and young people getting blown up by roadside bombs?

But there is still beauty.

How? Where? The closer I look at this world, the uglier and uglier it gets. Raytheon is the fifth largest employer in my town, and they make bombs.

But there is still beauty.

But did you know that during the 1930s, during the Great Depression, when white people needed jobs, hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens, including children, were illegally deported?

But there is still beauty.

Plummer Auditorium, where I played my high school talent show, is named after Louis Plummer, who was in the Ku Klux Klan.

But there is still beauty.

I cannot see it. I am losing my faith. Help me to see.

She looks me right in the eyes and says with a language too deep for words, "You are beautiful, my son."

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