"You Shoot at Yourself, America" Screen Print by Corita Kent, 1968


Screen print

Date Made



Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID



From the Collections of The Henry Ford.


Paper (Fiber product)




Height: 23.25 in  (Frame)

Width: 35.25 in  (Frame)

Length: 1.125 in  (Frame)


on front: You Shoot at Yourself, America / Freedom to Kill / The color of the Statue of Liberty / Grows ever more deathly pale / As, loving freedom with bullets / You shoot at yourself, America. / You can kill yourself this way! / It is dangerous to go out / Into this hellish world, / But it is still more dangerous / To hide in the bushes. / There is a smell on earth of a / universal / Dallas, / It is frightful to live / And this fright is shameful. / Who is going to believe hypocritical / fairy tales, / When, behind a facade of noble / ideas / The price of revolver lubricant / rises / And the price of human life falls? / Murderers attend funerals dressed / in mourning, / And later become stockholders, / And, once again, / Ears of grain filled with bullets / Wave in the fields of Texas. / The eyes of murderers peer out / alike from under hats and caps, / The steps of murderers are heard / at all doorways, / And a second of the Kennedys / falls... / America, save your children! / The children of other countries / turn gray, / And their huts, / Bombed in the night, / Burn in your fire, / Just like your / Bill of Rights. / You promised to be the conscience / of the world, / But, at the brink of bottomless / shame, / You are shooting not at King, / But at your own conscience. / You ar bombing Vietnam, / And with this your own honor. / When a nation is going dangerously / insane, / it cannot be cured of its troubles / By hastily prescribed / Calm. / Perhaps the only help is shame. / History cannot be cleansed in a / laundry. / There are not such washing machines / Blood can never be washed away! / O where is it hiding, the shame / of the nation, / As if it were a runaway Negro? / The slaves are within the slaves. / There are many unfettered / murderers. / They carry out their mob justice, / Pograms, / And Raskolnikov wanders through / America, / Insane, / With a bloody ax. / Hey, Old Abe / What are people doing, / Understanding vilely only one / truth: / That the greatness of a tree / Can be assessed only after it is / felled. / Lincoln basks in his marble chair, / Wounded. / They are shooting at him again! / What beasts. / The stars / In your flag, / America, / Are like bullet holes. / Arise from the dead, / Bullet-pierced Statue of Liberty, / Murdered so many times, / And speak out like a woman and / mother / And curse the freedom to kill. / But without wiping the splashes / of blood from your forehead / You, Statue of Liberty, have / raised up / Your green, drowned woman's face, / Appealing to the heavens against / being trodden under foot. / Yevgeny Yevtushenko signed on front, lower proper left corner: Corita

Related Content

Connect 3

Discover curious connections between artifacts.

Learn More