Who Are We?

I drafted a post about 2021, about hopes and plans, about cameras and creativity. But that can wait for now.


It was obvious there was going to be trouble in Washington on Wednesday.

But to be able to enter the Capitol building. And be able to stay there, armed.

And be encouraged by the president.


How can it happen, be allowed to happen?


How can the leader of a so-called democratic country be able to constantly question and challenge and attempt to undo the systems that put him there.


How can aggressive, armed white protestors be allowed into a key government building, when peaceful black protestors are still met with aggression and violence on the streets.


Some say, ‘this is not who we are’.

Some say, ‘this is exactly who America is’.


I don’t know. But I did see an image that included a banner with the name of Jesus on it. Regardless of who we are, that is not who Jesus is.


We know that there’s so much wrong in the US right now. So much division and anger. So much that makes us want to take a political side. What worries me most is that the memory fades. We’re incredulous today about what we see and read, but tomorrow it seems a little less important. And the day after, and the day after. Until we haven’t changed and the next thing hits us.


A word for the image makers though. The journalists that immerse themselves in an environment of violence to bring back the pictures that show us the story. They might love the job, as I’m sure many do, but that doesn’t diminish the personal risk they face and the stress of those situations. And the images they make inform us all about what actually took place, not perfectly, but enough, and often with immense skill under pressure.



Trump supporters in the Capitol in Washington (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

alastair.arthur@gmail.com

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