A Tragic Irony

The man came across a
quote from a poet obsess-
ed with school buses and
has used the image many
times in his poetry, “It is
associated, at least for me,
with the first time you give
your children over to the
state.”* In that moment, the
moment the man read those
two words, words that have
taken on a cold, ominous,
faceless, dystopian, bureau-
cratic image in America
since the post war days
of the fifties and the rise
of the nation’s perceived
ultimate enemy Communism —
“the state,” — the evil state,
yes, in that moment, the man
knew, ironically, why those
who today most represent the
state are trying to destroy
universal, public education.
The new state can’t let go of
their children and give them
over to the cold, heartless
state where they will exper-
ience life outside of the
white, evangelical womb.
They can’t let go and let God….
Ironically, they have become
the new face of the Godless,
dystopian state.

*Russell Banks, quoted
in The Writer’s Almanac,
March 28, 2019

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