Poem: Make America Kind Again by Marie Cartier


Photo by Marie Cartier

Make America Kind Again was my favorite poster slogan of every Women’s March.

We’ve had three and will have a fourth soon, January 18. I’ll be there and hope I see this sign again.

It’s a sign that maybe it will happen –America will be kind again.

It will be a place where we don’t put kids in cages

Or gouge people’s health care

Or ban Muslims from entering our country

Or kick transgender people out of the military

Or threaten voting rights for Blacks

Or remove registered voters from the polls

Or… fill in the blank

 

Make America kind again. Who are we?

What do we want? I think America is the

country where we want to know that every vote counts.

I’m not a politician.

I’m an artist, a writer, a theologian, an academic.

What I know looking at the black and brown and yellow and white faces

of my students in my California classroom, however, is

America is us. All over America, in every state, is us.

The poor. The rich. The multi-colored, the white.

The gay. The straight. The gender queer.

The undocumented. The documented. The sick. The well.

The landed. The renters. The homeless.

The well fed. The hungry.

We are everywhere. Who? Us.

Look around. People. Humans. Us.

I want all of us at the table. I want an America

that Jesus would have fed the loaves and fishes to. All of us

are so hungry for community. For a look in the eye from our neighbor that says,

I see you. How’s it going?

What do we really, really, want?

 

Oh, I want a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights.

And to Scotland to wait for the Loch Ness.

I want tenure. I want a best seller.

I want a house on the beach.

And I want a million followers on Twitter.

 

But what I want even more than that?

I want for less hungry people in the streets of Los Angeles.

I want public transportation around America that gets

people to jobs that they don’t hate,

where their work is respected because it

takes all of us to push this world forward

day by day.

 

Make America kind again. I want sick

people to be taken care of. And I want healthy

food for everyone. I want families to stay together and

I want borders open for those seeking asylum.

I want girls to believe in a future

where they can be president. I want sexual harassment

to be uncommon. I want the elderly to have

compassion and community and I want the world

to keep turning and for governments to understand

that sixteen-year old kids

are afraid of the world ending.

I want the planet to go on. Sunrise. Sunset. Season by season.

 

I want a just court

and voting rights for all.

 

And I want all these things much, much, more

than I ever want to see the Northern Lights which is what

I have always said is what I most want.

 

But, what I most want?

I want America.

 

I want America to be kind again.

 

–Marie Cartier

December 25, 2019

From the ongoing on series, In These United States

 

 

Marie Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University.  She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall (Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine.



Categories: Activism, American History, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General, Human Rights, In the News, Love, Relationships

Tags: , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. couldn’t agree more and like you I would give up a lot of things that I want and a lot of things I have in order to live in a more just–or hey a truly just–world!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I bet everyone who reads this post is like me: we watch the news and see major unkindness–major meanness, awful behavior–all around the world. And we get depressed. And we wish for a kinder world. Marie, you’re right on. We all want kindness to refill the world. We all want kindness to be reborn in the U.S. We all want a kinder world with a future that won’t crush us. Brava! Excellent post!

    BTW, I saw the Northern Lights once. They’re indescribably beautiful. I hope your wish to see them comes true. That you get BOTH Northern Lights and a kinder U.S.A. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, may I be you Echo. Yes. Please. Make my Alberta, Canada kind again too. Thanks for your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, kindness is like a lost jewel – where does it emerge from? Human decency, I would say. A quality we have lost touch with – and part of out humanity. I too would give up a lot for more kindness….animals show kindness in a million ways every day – I think we need to turn to Nature to learn how kindness works …

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We’ve lost kindness but we can (and will) get it back!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I see you are thinking and feeling deeply about these human situations. Good on ya!🍀🍀🍀
    That is a big want list. Let’s begin with BEING that kindness, SPREADING it around, and VOTING only for people who espouse the same values.
    Thank you for your part in our progress. 😊

    Like

  7. I have seen the face of kindness on so many. These days, we see anger and hatred in ways that we have not seen before in our lifetimes. But I remember.

    Like

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