We Are Not Your Americans. We Are Your Fireworks. Independence, Part 1.
We are not your Americans. We are your Fireworks.
I am a man of Science. An Engineer.
Science is to create anew a just society.
Yet, Science alienates ourselves from each other, coldly, brutally. And us from ourselves.
I am an Actor. Screen and stage.
Acting is to inhabit deserved, forbidden worlds to escape daily white male supremacy.
Yet, acting masks us from each other, passive aggressively draping us in pleasantries.
The pressure cooker that is the white male supremacy of the wealthiest country in the history of the world must let out steam without imploding.
Particles colliding with microaggressions and racial gatekeeping must go somewhere. Energy can neither be destroyed nor created.
What else could a country that affixes "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for "all (wo)men (who) are created equal" do?
Strike these foundational words from calligraphy?
We would no longer be an "exceptional society." The U.S. thinks too highly of itself. We can't bear to think so lowly of ourselves - Baldwin's Mirror.
Then, the murder of George Floyd. And of Breonna Taylor. May they Rest in Power.
Epic hip hop tracks remix. Always telling truth.
Those copies of "The 1619 Project" & "An Indigenous People's History of the United States" one "hadn't gotten around to" even though Pandemic binge watching could be paused.
45 speaking - on stolen Indigenous (Greater Sioux) land in front of wrongfully carved Lakota rockface of white male slave masters, killers of Indigenous people, and of the Great Emancipator - the day before "Independence Day."
Same day, suddenly the Washington National Football League franchise says it will "look into" a team name change for the upcoming season in the middle of a Pandemic.
While the football player turned possible Noble Peace Prize recipient himself — Colin Kaepernick - remains nobly down upon one knee and not on an NFL practice field.
Cleveland Indians? I might as well be an Indian of Cleveland.
That's Major League Baseball, for those keeping score. Should I re-watch the "Major League" films today with Chief Wahoo?
“Hamilton” dropped on Disney Plus. Damn.
I won’t be watching anything with any Texas Rangers. Yes, that team name is also problematic. We won’t teach you everything. Google it.
Tea spilling time. Boston Tea Party. Full circle, a Revolution to another July 4th.
Though not any July 4th.
Not so much bursting in air (officially) Stateside tonight. Yet, your bombs continue to burst abroad.
Tactics of American enslavement tested upon Black and Indigenous people to later endanger Brown people elsewhere.
Weaponry, perfected in use upon those Brown people, brought back to these shores to modernize brutality here in the "land of the free."
Lady Liberty, must you invite Black and Brown infants to your bosom for mere tastes of freedom, while lulling your police to punish Black and Brown adults (and kids) for simply embodying that same freedom?
Should we cancel you, Lady Liberty? Such a nice Statue you are.
President Washington, I am ashamed I still feel a vestige to thank you for such revolutionary awards. What do you feel about your legacy now that you're no longer with us?
I'm not White. I'm not Black. I'm not Indigenous. My ancestors are not of the Americas. So, who am I to say this to you, Uncle Sam?
I was one pressure point away from gasping "I can't breathe" back in the day.
That's not one of my Northern Maine racism horror stories. That was in Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, my hometown Santa Clara, California, USA.
No, it was not a cop. It was a fellow teenage boy choking my neck. Guess which race he was? I might as well have been teleported back to lily White upper New England that day.
Perhaps another Independence Day of mine is needed to digest, to unpack, to exist.
Apologies to 07/01/2020. I didn't have much to say, Canada: treat your First Nations peoples better.
Glad the National Hockey League is looking at Hub Cities only within your side of the Canadian border.
Sorry, Florida, you're a mess on COVID. At least National Basketball Association players will wear social justice messages on their jerseys. Solace?
White hockey players are tweeting Black Lives Matter. Okay.
Meanwhile, Maya Moore of the Women's National Basketball Association gives up her entire season for social justice.
To be continued 08/15/2020: India Independence Day.
Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty, will you still be fretting over $600 a week by then?
Juxtapose the hypocrisy of a nation that keeps a "president" in office - one who lets bounties continue upon the heads of his soldiers - with those same fellow Americans using tactics designed to murder Brown people abroad to murder Black people here.
That doesn’t reassure me that such a country would be further along regarding COVID nor Climate in a few weeks…
Today is a holiday. So, let’s make one toast, to digress and decompress. For those of us fortunate to breathe tonight…
USA, since we are your Fireworks that makes us exciting. No longer for your fetishist gaze, mind you.
We are exciting our country to decolonize itself. I am excited for you to decolonize your minds and hearts.
Only then, one day, can exist our nation truly "indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
The work is global. If I don’t reach out before 08/15/2020, solidarity and love.
Copyright. © Ravi Valleti. 2020.
Futurist artist/activist, Ravi Valleti (he/him) is developing a ‘Posthuman Memoir’ of himself and a far-future fictional descendant, called “Rocket Scientist.” Valleti acts in a supporting role in the feature film “Overwhelm the Sky” - streams soon iTunes and Amazon, then Netflix in November 2020. Also with hopes for release soon is Valleti’s first lead acting role feature film “Devised.” Valleti is a 2019 Inductee into his alma mater UC Irvine Engineering Hall of Fame for his continuing S.T.E.A.M. equity and justice reform efforts, for advising the March for Science movement, as well as social justice broadly. This Indian-American alum of Space Camp and Star Trek is based in Oakland, CA, U.S.A.