One thing about living in a racist country like the United States is that one is constantly in shock. Just when you think something can’t get any worse than what you’ve heard or seen, it invariably does, especially for the marginalized. There are many examples – from the handling of Hurricane Katrina victims to the lopsided system of justice- that gives one more than enough evidence of the dismal plight of being a person of color in America. It’s a vexing situation. One feels the “double consciousness” W.E.B Dubois once spoke of as one engages with the juggernaut of history in its multiple, interconnecting streams (i.e politics, culture, law, economics, education, religion, science, etc) in the quest for understanding, meaning & a sense of place. Sometimes it seems as if we’re eons ahead of our parent’s generation & riding the crest of change to more exciting horizons. And sometimes the noose of history drags us back in time & it feels like nothing has changed. Right now as I write this, it feels as if we’ve been tossed back in time – The legacy of Dred Scott stalks the landscape. The ghost of Emmit Till hovers. The words of Malcolm & Martin reverberate. It’s the post-Reconstruction era all over again.
This land is filled to overflowing with the most tragic and saddest tales you can ever imagine….Here’s a short list (I’ll leave it up to you to connect the dots): Trayvon Martin, Troy Davis, Danroy “DJ” Henry, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Ousmane Zongo, Tim Stansbury, Oscar Grant, Orlando Barlow, Niles Meservey, Aaron Campbell, Victor Steen, Steven Eugene Washington, Kiwane Carrington, Kendra James, James Jahar Perez, Jose Mejia Poot, Deandre Brunston, Aiyana Jones, John Patrick Leaf, Michael Lee Nida, Travis McNeill, Arthur McDuffie, DeCarlos Moore, Stephon Watts, Ariston Waiters……& this just in…Kenneth Chamberlain.. & Anna Brown…..One can hear, in the distance, the plaintive cry of Billie Holliday, “…Here is fruit for the crows to pluck….For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck…For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop…Here is a strange and bitter cry”.
How many more deaths will it take before we realize that there is something more sinister & deeply disturbing at play here?
Being politically active against injustice should not be a trending topic but a lifetime mission~Anslem Samuel