Open Letter to John Ashcroft

The following letter was read by the author at this year's "In Celebration of the Muse," Cabrillo College. She was the highlight of the evening. The author is a woman of 60+ years, conservatively dressed and obviously quite talented.

Attorney General of the United States

On January 28, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that he spent $8,000 of taxpayer's money for drapes to cover up the exposed breast of "The Spirit of Justice," an 18 ft aluminum statue of a woman that stands in the Department of Justice's Hall of Justice.

John, John, John, you've got your priorities all wrong.
While men fly airplanes into skyscrapers, dive bomb the pentagon,
while they stick explosives into their shoes,
and then book a seat right next to us,
while they hide knives in their luggage,
steal kids on school buses,
take little girls from their beds at night,
drive trucks into our state capital buildings,
while our president calls dangerous men all over the world evildoers
and devils,
while we live in the threat of biological warfare nuclear destruction,
you are out buying yardage to save Americans
from the appalling alarming, abominable aluminum alloy of evil,
that terrible ten foot tin tittie.
You might not be able to find Bin Laden. But you sure as hell found the
hooter in the hall of justice.

It's not that we aren't grateful.
But while we were begging the women of Afghanistan to not cover up
their faces
you are begging your staff members to just cover up that nipple
to save the American people from that monstrous metal mammary.
How can we ever thank you?

So, in your office every morning
in your secret prayer meeting
while an American woman is sexually assaulted every 6 seconds
while anthrax floats around the post office
and settles in the chest of senior citizens,
you've got another chest on your mind.

While American sons arrive home in body bags
and heat seeking missiles fly around a foreign country
looking for any warm body you think of another body.
And you pray for the biggest bra in the world, John,
because you see that breast on the spirit of justice
in the spirit of your own inhibited sexuality.

And when we women see our grandmothers, our mothers,
our daughters, our granddaughters, our sisters, ourselves,
when we women see that statue the spirit of justice
we see the spirit of strength the spirit of survival.

While every day we view innocent bodies dragged out of rubble
and women and children laid out like thin limp dolls
and baptized into death as collateral damage
and the hollow eyed Afghani mother's milk
has dried up underneath her burka in famine in shame
and her children are dead at her breast.

While you look at that breast, John,
that jug on the spirit of justice and deal with your thoughts
of lust and sex and nakedness, we see it as a testimony to
And you see it as a tit.

It's not the money it cost.
It's the message you send.

We've got the right to live in freedom.
We've got the right to cheat Americans out of millions of dollars
and then just not want to tell Congress about it.

We've got the right to drop bombs night and day on a small country
that has no army, no navy, no military at all,
because we've got the right to bear arms, but we just better
not even think about the right to bare breasts.

So now John you can be photographed while you stand there and
talk about guns and bombs and poisons
without the breast appearing over your right shoulder
without that bodacious bosom bothering you
and we just wanted to tell you in the spirit of justice
in the spirit of truth:

John there is still one very big boob
left standing there in that picture.

Claire Braz-Valentine

Courtesy of Liz Randol

Larry Morningstar


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