Seen at the Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side, this image resonated. Not because of the boldness of the statement but because of what that it says about fear and country. Could it be that African American soldiers who fought in the war felt more comfortable with the Vietnamese than they did on their racially charged home soil? I wouldn’t doubt it.
That brings to mind a more recent point: I remember so many saying they felt fear at home for the first time after 9/11; peril was so close. But I don’t recall any black folk saying exactly that. It’s not that the attack wasn’t terrifying and clearly great pain was (and continues to be) felt equally by all, regardless of background. It’s just that black folk in this country have had to live with fear for so long. And Builder Levy’s photo stands as a particularly pointed reminder.