using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : March 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2012 67 this on the bus, traveling from the hills, where the rambling, fenced homes were nestled in the open hillside, to the flat- lands, where the single-story, paint-peeled houses had metal bars across their windows and were crunched together like the curled fingers of a fist. I attended the utopian educational experiment called Mal- colm X Elementary. The school had originally been Lincoln Elementary, but the students staged a revolution. Lincoln had led the war that freed the slaves, but he was criticized for having an ambiguous and—by modern standards—sometimes racist view of African Americans. We saw the incongruity of the per- son versus the hero that history had made of him, and there was no room in our ten-year-old minds for what we saw as hypocrisy. Lincoln was out. So who was in? A hero like Malcolm. Maybe because he’d died young, or maybe because he’d come up from the twin hells of the street and prison to become a prophet of the people. Or maybe just because it was Berkeley and everyone was walking around with the black power fist salute, talking about revolution. Even us. Heroes came to our school auditorium to inspire us. James Baldwin, with his intense voice choking like an ailing carbure- tor, told us to live together but not give in to each other. Tall, exotic Angela Davis—a woman accused of aiding a murder— was wrapped in the power of her convictions. Maya Angelou, the colors of earth—reds, browns, sunsets—radiated like a dashiki from her poetry, beautiful and strong. For a while, I was in heaven. Then I learned that who you thought you were was not nec- essarily how others saw you, and sometimes there was nowhere to hide. Letters to Richard T. Johnson, 1973 We were supposed to write a report on someone we admired. I couldn’t think of anyone. My mom had a necklace that said, “War is Not Healthy For Children and Other Living Things,” with the name Richard T. Johnson on the back. From Knox- ville, Tennessee, he was nineteen when drafted to Vietnam. He’d been a football wide receiver in high school and he’d wanted to be an engineer. He was last seen near Qui Nhon in South Vietnam. His body was never found. “He’s not a hero,” the school bully Rufus glowered. “No one’s ever even heard of him.” It was true. No one really knew about him except for me. And his family, of course. And the people who made the necklace. Mrs. Sterling walked up to my desk and put her hand on my shoulders. Her hand was firm and strong. “It’s okay,” she said. I thought that when I finished my report, I’d forget about Richard T. Johnson. But I didn’t, because Rufus kicked my ass over Richard after class. I was beaten up often after that. Ganged up on at school, attacked while jogging, walking home, or just minding my own business. Once, five older girls walked toward me. I should have seen them coming, but I didn’t. Soon they were on me, knocking the books out of my hands. One punched me in the stomach. Another spat in my face. “Give us your fucking money!” I scrambled to pick up my books from the ground. “What the hell are you doing? We want the money, bitch!” The biggest girl, with thick, white bra straps poking out at each shoulder, kicked me in the legs. A smaller girl snatched my pack, took out the wrinkled dollar bills from my wallet, and threw it back at me. I went to pick up the wallet. This was a mistake. “Show me your hand,” the big girl said. I pulled my hand away; she pulled it toward her. But she couldn’t get the turquoise ring off my finger. My grandmother had given me the ring before she died. “Bite the fucking finger!” said the smaller girl. I pulled my hand away, got the ring off and handed it over. Then they ran off down the street, laughing. I didn’t want to tell my father what happened, so I lied to him about where my money had gone. “You think money grows on trees?” he asked. “Is that what you think?” “No, I—” “Don’t talk back to me, young lady.” He started to raise his hand. “Please, no,” I said, covering my face and spinning around. “Don’t turn your back when I’m speaking to you!” “I’m sorry,” I said, turning back around. And then I did it. “Asshole,” I said under my breath. I had never, ever talked back like this before. “What did you call me?” he bellowed. With one hand around the back of my neck, he ground bitter, chalky, gritty Lava soap into my mouth, trying to force my lips open. I twisted out of his grasp and ran up the stairs. He ran up after me, grabbed me by the arm and hauled me over his knee on the stairwell. He took off his belt. “Apologize,” he shouted. But I didn’t. Couldn’t. The truth was, I wasn’t sorry. “It hurts me as much as it hurts you,” he said, whipping me hard with the brass buckle. “Tell it to the judge,” I managed to say. I don’t even know where that line came from. I must have heard it on TV. Later that night, my mother came into my room. “I told your father I was unhappy. I told him I wanted a divorce.” “A divorce?” I gulped. Was that why he’d gone ballistic? “You know what he said?” she asked, shaking her head. “‘Jews don’t divorce, they endure.’ But I can’t endure any lon- ger. Here’s the thing,” Mom said, “if you suggest something’s