Starstruck by Power

After walking around and admiring the beauty of the Martin Luther King Memorial, a crowd gathered around Mike Pence, our Vice President to-be.  As I pushed my way through the crowd to the line of secret servicemen and got my first view of Mr. Pence, an internal conflict began.  Despite being disgusted by his policies against LGBT members of the community, the power of being in front of someone with such influence was impactful.  I felt starstruck.

However, that starstruck feeling started to dissipate as one of our group leaders tried to ask him a question.  She repeatedly yelled out to the soon-to-be VP, asking how the Trump administration would work to embody MLK’s legacy of equality and justice.  Rather than responding, the VP-elect turned his head away in favor of shaking more hands and taking more pictures.

Even though I chose not to get in line to shake Mr. Pence’s hand, I couldn’t help myself but to try and capture the moment through my lens.

Writing and photos by Cole Heine.

Staring at Stone

Staring out across the D.C. river basin is a great effigy of your person, marble eyes glancing with a gentile despair at the memorial for the baron of Monticello. You’re carved from granite in a suit and tie, arms crossed, a rolled speech clutched in your left hand. Did you see, I wonder, the man who came to visit you today? He entered in a great flurry, a circle of trench coats cleaving a path through pilgrims to your feet. The man wore a constant smile in his eyes, his hands danced a practiced politician’s wave. The crowd gathered for you turned and swarmed onto him. They hummed in and out of his circle, snapping photos and shaking hands. Their backs turned to you. The only eyes left were the man’s. I wonder what he was thinking, this man, as he stared up at your likeness. Did he feel something when his eyes met yours? Or was he just staring at stone?

Writing and photo by Charles Noxon

The Future of MLK’s Legacy

Martin Luther King’s legacy is lasting and poignant. His words ring in our ears, while his message is still trying to truly take hold. This cold January morning, future VP, Mike Pence, visited the MLK Memorial. His hair almost the color of the stone King is carved in, Pence’s presence creates a juxtaposition between past and present, tolerance and conservatism. Many worry about Pence’s views and general intolerance. I believe visiting MLK’s memorial helps his image and posing with an African American child, makes the VP seem like a “man of the people”. MLK Day is a celebrated occasion, and one can’t deny that Pence’s platform strays from this charismatic figure’s ideals. Pence respects King and his place in history, as he did visit the Memorial. However, I’m unsure of his intentions to continue this legacy through policy.

Writing by Hannah Tuchman. Photo by Megan Cohen.