This are the last few weeks to catch Barbara Kruger’s mural on the High Line, which is being de-installed in March! The mural features an adaptation of a quote by Afro-Caribbean philosopher Frantz Fanon. The original statement, “Blind idealism is reactionary,” suggests that political and religious convictions stem from the situations from which they grow, not from the inherent nature of individuals.
I want a member of the
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for president. I want a person who continues to
survive genocide for president and I want an undocumented immigrant for vice
president and I want a black man with a criminal record and time served for
president and a trans woman of color who has managed to survive past her 35th
year for president and I want someone from the janitorial staff at the Goldman
Sachs FiDi office for president.
I want a baby born with unknown
allergies developed from their mother’s GMO-filled breast milk in the cabinet
and a teenager from Flint, Michigan with lead in her lungs to run the EPA and a
person with mental illness to dismantle the prison industrial complex. I want an environmental scientist for
president and a performance artist for vice president.
I want a president who will
turn the White House into a shelter for homeless youth, not just as a daily
reminder of the kids the state has ignored, abandoned, and left to rot but to
turn it into a real home for real people with real lives.
I want Alicia Garza for
president. I want the spirits of Michael Brown, Freddie Grey, and Sandra Bland
for president, and the mothers of Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Kendra
James, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling for president. I want Black lives
to matter and white lives to fight to make that our reality.
I want Emit Till for
I want a desi for president.
Someone who understands that colonial tactics turned us into a culture of uncle
tom’s and that it’s time to stand with our fellow POC - queer, Black, Latino,
and native—instead of serving white supremacist systems of capitalism.
I want a veteran from the War
on the Poor for president. I want a president who fought every day to survive
just to beg on the streets and the subways for a nickel, a quarter, a dollar,
while they watched their brethren fall dead from meth, depression and
I want a president who has a
plan to reintegrate Wall Street bankers and hedge fund CEOs into
society. I want a president who understands that the rate of recidivism
into the wretched plague of greed is far too high and has a plan to address
I want an abolitionist for
president. Someone who will turn blue lives into nurse lives or farmer lives or
sanitation lives, lives that will support life and care for the Earth. I want a
president who doesn’t equate ethical reasoning with laws and understands that
crime and punishment are linked to law and order are linked to colonial
repression. I want a president who doesn’t conflate democracy with
rigorous capitalism, someone who chooses rehabilitation over prison slave labor
and someone who praises the heroic effort of the thousands of prisoners
currently on strike.
I want a president who will
pardon Assata Shakur and indict David Duke, pardon Chelsea Manning and indict Dick
I want a sex worker for
president. A person who centers on the power of their own sexuality, has survived
the brutal sexual violence of hetero-male entitlement and seen him walk away
unpunished. I want a president who is acutely aware of the importance of real
sex education—one that considers pleasure, self-defense, and respect for the
boundaries and preferences of others. I want a president whose preferred
pronouns are they/them
I want a Muslim woman for president.
Someone whose every prayer is surveilled by the FBI. I want a president whose
children’s school was bombed by US drones and whose hospital was leveled by air
I want a Palestinian for
president, someone who is living through apartheid and surviving the ethnic
cleansing of their people—someone who will finally sever ties with Israeli
occupiers of land that is not theirs, has never been theirs, and should never
I want a disabled person for
president, someone who lives in a world built to segregate them.
I want a president who fights
for their family. I want a single mother for president. Someone who walked from
Honduras and crawled through the deserts from Juarez to El Paso to save their family
from the inevitability of death by US-backed drug lord leaders, only to find
themselves in the land of the free, detained by ICE. I want a president who
understands that borders are an imperial tool for control and peaceful
migration has always been part of human survival. I want a Syrian refugee for
And I want to know why any of
this is radical.
And I want to know why we
started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always bought,
always a war hawk and never a dissident; always a strategist and never