There are race riots in my city tonight

A Prayer to Memnon in the midst of civil disorder

Speak to us, O Memnon, son of Tithonos, son of Eos.
Speak to us, prince of Ethiopia, son of the Dawn.
Speak with the voice of your colossus, raised in the land of Egypt.
Speak with the voice of a black-skinned man
who was not known as black, as colored, as a negro,
but as a prince, a warrior, a hero.
Speak, warrior who fought beside the Trojans in defence of their city,
who fell at the hand of Achilles after a mighty combat.
Speak, and tell us how to make peace.
Speak, and tell us how to make justice.
Speak, and tell us how to dismantle the lies of race and privilege.
Speak, and give us the wisdom of a true hero.
I pray to you tonight from the middle of Baltimore,
from the heart of a divided city, from a city in fear of violence,
from a place where just anger has turned to riots
that harm the harmless, that do nothing toward the good.
And yet the anger is justified. And yet people are in fear.
Memnon, I have not prayed to you before, but I pray to you now.
Hear the plea of one who is a lover of Antinous and send help to my city.

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3 thoughts on “There are race riots in my city tonight

  1. This is EXACTLY why Memnon has become so important over the last few years, I think…He should have been a part of what we’ve been doing in a more definite way since the beginning, but it took this long for me to cop on about it.

    This is a prayer that I will echo with you tonight, and with everyone else in Baltimore.

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    1. I had a chance to listen to the Bringing Race to the Table discussion from Pantheacon while at work this afternoon, while the tension was gathering around me amongst my coworkers and in the neighborhood. After I was safely home this evening, I thought of what you’d written about Memnon and knew it was he I wanted to pray to.

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      1. It is strange that this has happened now as well…I was on that podcast talking about Memnon last night as well, which is linked to on my blog post from yesterday. If you aren’t at work, or are at work, you might give that one a listen, too…it’s 2 hours, though, so leave a big block of time if you have a chance.

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