Recently I received an email from a woman chastising us and informing us that she "found the images on your merchandise page distasteful ". She went further to explain that she was "ashamed of being represented in Iraq/Afghanistan by anyone who finds pleasure from these images." She closed with "The way forward is through knowledge and building bridges, not hate and racist ignorance". I could not agree with her more. The way forward is through knowledge. Unfortunately, many individuals have no knowledge of the horrors of war; they can't build bridges between the men and women who fought these wars of politics. That is why we feel this project and book is so important, to help individuals, such as the woman from the email, to understand why service members say the things they do and draw the things they feel. Not because it is politically correct, but because they have these emotions inside them that the world can't make sense of, so they write, or draw, or tag a wall with thoughts that might offend, because they are offended a what they see, what has been done, perhaps what they have been forced to do.
I listed the full email at the end of this blog and I would like our supporters, our fans and those who fall into a third category to comment, discuss and start a dialogue about this heated topic. This is what the book is about, dialogue between those who might not have ever spoke to one another, but harbored hatred nonetheless over ignorance of their perceptions. Instead of judging, let's show an empathetic curiosity to the feelings and emotions of others, that is truly the way forward. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.
Yours Ever Faithfully,
Email from Ms. S.
As an American Muslim New Yorker, I found the images on your merchandise to be distasteful and I'm writing to inform you that I'm ashamed of being represented in Iraq/Afghanistan by anyone who finds pleasure from these images. A woman in a patriotic bikini holding a gun? A bomb with graffiti that is callous and unfeeling? I have family serving in the army and I hope that they will never sink this low whilst protecting their country from harm. The way forward is through knowledge and building bridges, not hate and racist ignorance.