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Picturing a World

Ambiguous Fourth

In light of the ghastly recent rulings by the Supreme Court that toss the nation into a future of restricted lives and poorer health for women, more guns, and an accelerating race to utter climate disaster, it's hard to feel much but disgust and sorrow on the Fourth of July. A copy of this poster from Bill Clinton's first inauguration, signed by artist Carroll Cloar, hangs in my living-room. It fits because my husband and I live in a converted one-room schoolhouse (and voted for Clinton), yet I've always thought it was a bit ambiguous. Yes, to schools. Unease at a Southern legacy of white male supremacy. Yes, to subversive white dress to honor the suffragists. Cloar once said that he was influenced by Southern writers like Eudora Welty. We're all going to need wry perspectives in days to come. May a younger generation of activists show us the way forward to make things better!

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