I tinker about with poems and stories. That’s my preferred medium, but today I feel obligated to share my thoughts and feelings in a more accessible manner.
This has been a turbulent six months to say the least. When our society (I’m talking globally here) was first challenged by this ongoing pandemic, I could not help but feel that we were standing on the precipice of what would be a massive shift. A shift to what, I could not be sure. What was clear to me was that the lives we led before were firmly behind us. Everything had changed and would continue to change. The rapid global spread of the coronavirus exposed vulnerabilities in all stages of life:
- The power of Mother Nature
- The limits to the ableness of our governments, and the aptitude of many politicians
- How we work, and why
- The fragility of our economic systems
- The damage we do to our planet every day
- Travel and Borders
- Personal Connection
This shared vulnerability united the people of this world as we tacitly acknowledged that life as we previously knew it was no more, and we were all adapting to a new way of living.
The more publicized incidents of recent racism ranging from leveraging systemic racism to threatening violence to outright murder in the United States over the past few weeks are nothing new. The pattern can be traced back over the past 60 years in the aftermath of the civil rights movements of the 60’s through the repeated incarceration, harassment, abuse, sodomizing, and straight-up murder of black people. Glance further back to the Jim Crow laws and lynchings in the decades following the abolition of slavery. Track back further through the despicable times of slavery, which institutionalized not only the condition of Black people, but also the lens in which we were perceived.
This sickness will not be cured easily.
But step aside a moment from the continued denigration of a people based on the color of their skin. Often defended and “substantiated” by bigots who discount the hundreds of years of intentional systematic violence against a people, which included the theft of land, and identity. These intentionally brutal acts of violence soon became systemic to an entire world view towards a people.
But now, try to take a step back from all of that.
Difficult as it may be, so many Blacks around the world must do so every day in order to survive.
Look now to how we, regardless of ethnicity, have failed ourselves as a human race. We have allowed ourselves to subscribe to governments and economic systems which are self-serving to themselves. Systems that see human beings merely as a source of energy and capital. We, as democratic and capitalistic societies, made a pact to empower our governments and corporations to have so much control over us.
But many of the governments and institutions in which we have placed our trust have failed us. Failed us through their incompetence and greed.
That is what has been exposed so far,
and that is why the world is on fire.
The curtains have been pulled back, and we can all see.
We can all see.
So now, what will we do?
What will you do?