C-ville

I’m at the David Bowie concert in the Railyard this balmy Saturday night. Then one of the MCs says something that truly upsets me, about how Santa Fe is so great and loving and diverse that “what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia could never happen here.”
Please think again. The cities are the same size. Both are liberal, and yes, diverse. Both love their outdoor concerts, their dogs, their local foods. Both have considered themselves occupied territory.
I’m very fond of C-ville, and my friends there. Earlier this very summer I sat on a shady screened porch and listened to sad and worried talk about the alt-right protestors. Were they only to be feared, or could they be communicated with? How to respond? What to do?
And now tragedy has stuck—as has the assignation of blame. I’ve never been a mayor or a police chief—and I would not presume to tell either how to do their job. You can try and blame the ACLU or your own privilege or whatever you want—but I think blame just distances us from reality.
Earlier this week Santa Fe witnessed a case of extreme cyber racism. And an armed belligerent man in the city council session. At the start of the rise of Nazism, Germans no doubt said—it can’t happen here, not in the land of Schiller and Goethe, of Bach and Beethoven. But happen it did.
And saying things can’t happen neither prevents them, nor prepares us. Santa Fe is many things, including my beloved home, but it can also at times be racist, violent, and troubled. And if armed fascists from out of state marched through our Plaza I don’t think they’d be greeted with just a kumbaya moment.
Anything can happen anywhere. You can blame so called human nature. Or, in the specifics of these events, you can blame the United States of America. Which, I might remind Santa Fe, we are part of. For which you can blame the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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