Why “The Red and the Blue”?

15 October, 2020

A poster in Daliah Ammar's <

A poster in Daliah Ammar’s “Vote” series, curated by our friends at Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture.

What is an arts publication doing writing about “The Red and the Blue”—colors symbolic of the divisions of a troubled nation, representing American conservative and liberal values? Simply put, everything is politics, and to ignore the reality around you would be tantamount to self-negligence.

The truth is that the people of the United States—a nation of Native Americans and immigrants, let’s remember—are about to vote in the single most important election of their lifetimes. No other president has proven quite so chaotic and destructive as Donald J. Trump, the faux billionaire from Queens who has been shown to owe hundreds of millions of dollars to as yet unknown creditors. Even the New York Times editorial board has come out with a statement that does not mince words: “Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.”

Not only are the 2020 elections historically impactful (as of this writing, nearly 20 million people have voted early and predictions are that this will be the largest voter turnout in 100 years) for U.S. citizens, but people around the world are obsessively paying attention to the presidential contest between the Trump-Pence and Biden-Harris tickets, as well as the many senate races now underway.

If the polls are correct, we may see a blue tidal wave take both the White House and the Senate, leaving only the U.S. Supreme Court under a conservative majority. No one could have predicted that 2020 would become the year of the pandemic, George Floyd and an impeached Donald Trump, but with the wind at our back, the year from hell may end on a positive note, for with an already Democrat-majority in the House of Representatives, Americans can begin to seriously fight Covid-19 while rebuilding a country that has been tested by anger and division as never before.

This issue features fabulous art from Daliah Ammar, Sandow Birk and Jos Sances, as well as new writing from Hasheemah Afaneh, Rana Asfour, Melissa Chemam, Monique El-Faizy, Laila Halaby, Malu Halasa and Maryam Zar, among others. If you like what you read, please post your comments and share with your friends. Thanks for reading, and please support The Markaz Review here. —Jordan Elgrably, Editor