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  • Palma Joy Strand

From “NO” to “KNOW”

Updated: May 22, 2019



(PHOTOS COURTESY: Angry Asian Man)

A few weeks ago in San Francisco, “NO MORE CHINESE” graffiti appeared in the Portola district.

Days later, courtesy of Photoshop, a blogger countered with “KNOW MORE CHINESE.”

From “NO” to “KNOW” – that’s Civity in a nutshell.

“NO” -

We are all “NO” people.

“NO” captures our very human fear of change, of the unknown. It reflects our loyalty to the people and the ideas that define us, that we are bound to.

“NO” proclaims. It radiates power, even when it hides insecurity.

“NO MORE CHINESE”

“NO MORE GUNS”

“NO MORE IMMIGRANTS”

“NO MORE ABORTION”

“NO MORE CONFEDERATE FLAGS”

Whatever our “NO”s are, they draw lines around the people we associate with those “NO”s and make them some other kind of people.

“KNOW” -

We are also all “KNOW” people.

“KNOW” lifts up our also-very-human curiosity, our urge to explore. It highlights our instinct to reach out, to connect, to grow and create.

“KNOW” invites. It whispers of risk, even when issued with bravado.

“KNOW MORE CHINESE”

“KNOW MORE [PEOPLE WHO OWN] GUNS”

“KNOW MORE IMMIGRANTS”

“KNOW MORE [PEOPLE WHO HAVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF] ABORTION”

“KNOW MORE [PEOPLE WHO DISPLAY] CONFEDERATE FLAGS”

Our “KNOW”s send tendrils of relationship into groups of people who are different and say to them: “I see you.”

KNOWing doesn’t mean we agree.

KNOWing doesn’t mean we aren’t different.

KNOWing doesn’t mean I don’t believe with all my being that what you stand for is destructive and wrong.

What KNOWing means is simply facing the fact that, like it or not, we are in this together.


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© 2017 Civity

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