Make Art Not War

I had a pretty successful trip to the Tucson Best Bead Show, a trip that was marred by one annoyance. If you haven’t traveled on the I-8 from San Diego you wouldn’t know that the border area has been effectively militarized, complete with dogs, checkpoints, walls and helicopters. The young woman border patrol agent at the checkpoint right after I crossed into Arizona said her dog liked my car so I was waved into secondary inspection. I pulled up under the little carport and I see another woman with her little girl waiting for officers to finish searching her vehicle. What are they looking for there? Mind you that I have driven through these checkpoints many times over the years and have never been stopped. I got the feeling that these guys and girls needed something to do on a slow hot day in the middle of the desert because they certainly were not making me feel more secure or safe in my own country. I got out of the car and opened all the doors. The back was filled with my beads and display stuff for the show. The dog climbed into the car to sniff at my dog’s blanket on the back seat. Nothing found, I was sent on my merry way. A few miles up the road I see these two billboards less than 100 feet from each other…

All I can think is, wow Arizona! Was I profiled because I’m black? It’s a place I don’t like to go because I am always hoping to be judged on the “content of my character” instead of how I look, middle aged black woman with dread locks, but I’m thinking that anyway. Then I think maybe it was my bumper sticker, the wonderful “Make Art Not War” sticker by Shepard Fairey. Who knows? Whatever the criteria they use it’s all f’d up and I feel pretty powerless when I’m at their mercy. The sentiment expressed by my sticker can really screw with a persons thinking, especially if they like to think that humans couldn’t possibly exist without war. What a concept, I like to think it! I feel bad for people that want to hate and kill everything that they don’t understand, it’s like they have some kind of illness.
The rest of my drive was uneventful, a couple of Jan Brewer for governor signs assaulted me along the way and I finally arrived at Kate’s house. Safe!

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