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The Foolproof Confederate Flag

24/06/2015   |   No Comments »

THE CONFEDERATE FLAG IS A STRAIGHTJACKET_Where Excuses Go to DieThe “Heritage not Hate” defense is dead.
No more cautiously tolerated rationalizations.   

No more excuses.

Nine people gave their lives so the Confederate flag could finally be rendered foolproof — ’cause now even fools have a chance to drop its baggage and let it go.

To people who pretend the Confederate flag is a symbol of freedom from government: let it go.
To those who lament the slow bulldozing of Southern pride: read the writing on the 150-year-old wall and let it go.
To anyone who claims the Confederate flag is not representative of racism: let it go.
To people who say the Civil War was ages ago, Charleston church gunman Dylan Roof was last week: let it go.
To cultural identifiers proud of Dixie, resistant to change and mad as hell: let it go.
To Southerners who blame haters for turning people against their colors: give us a break and let it go.

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NO EXCUSES FOR CUBA Pt. 2

12/06/2015   |   No Comments »

Habana Centro_Where Excuses Go to Die5I may have returned from Cuba a more informed tourist, but I remain a clumsy narrator, for I’ve experienced more than I know how to process at once.

So, with my eye ever on excuses (and a reliance on my iPhone camera for more complete coverage), I’ll just jump right in.

Our casa particular was in Habana Centro, the most densely populated district in the city of Havana, where much of life is spent where the action is: right outside the building in which one lives. Street sports like handball, self-regulating pet and child care, gossip, singing merchants, colorful laundry Habana Centro_Where Excuses Go to Die3being pinned to decaying balconies, inventive refuse repurposing, prostitution, championship dominoes, and, of course, more vintage Chevy tweaking than outside a Barrett-Revolutionary Square_Where Excuses Go to DieJackson auction are daily occurrences, rain or shine. Drivers use their horns in polite little taps to warn pedestrians, slower cars, and ubiquitous bicycle taxis that they’re approaching from behind, because walking in the middle of the narrow streets is necessary – and not because the city lacks sidewalks. This is about Darwinian natural selection: misshapen rebar barely clinging to crumbles of concrete isn’t just a photo op, it’s a reminder that falling chunks of rotting rooftops are common, especially following an afternoon downpour. Our local host was explaining this to my wife when a basketball sized slab of wall proved his point a few feet away.

Habana Centro_Where Excuses Go to Die1

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