Thursday, March 29, 2012

Can't We All Just Get Along

We just inch along, don't we? I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama in the fifties. Of course I remember all of the White Only signs. The O. J. Simpson case was a stark reminder of the polarization of blacks and whites in this country. I have spent all my life with the dream in my heart that color blindness was coming. Now the Trayvon Martin case exposes a new step backwards in our culture. It breaks my heart to hear the racist comments from all corners.

My new worry is that a society that is weak and scared is a society that looks for culprits. High unemployment and unfair distribution of wealth cause fear and distrust. A government that allows us to pay for their own families' health care and medical insurance while smugly denying millions of us access to any affordable quality of care for our own is unfair and unreasonable.

On the ropes, I believe, we look for the ones to blame. The same old racial stereotypes drag their chains back to haunt us. 

I have hope and I have love. I admit that I lack patience. Race, I fear, has become a convenient wedge issue for the 1% to use against the rest of us. Actually, for us to use against one another. Love your neighbor and play fair. I don't care where you were born, you can easily develop color blindness. Stand up for the disenfranchised and take care of the ones who need your help. We're all brothers and sisters and we all need each other.

In my opinion this culture peaked with Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Our debt to the ancestors of the slaves that we brought to this continent can never be repaid. My life has been enriched with Little Richard, Amos'n'Andy, Richard Pryor, Muhammad Ali, Lead Belly and Barack Obama.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war. Bless us all; black, white, red, yellow and brown. 

1 comment:

  1. Now that we have a black president, I'd like to have "Amos and Andy" back. I promise that I never thought of the Mystic Knights of the Sea in terms other than "I can relate to these guys." They were, to me, anyway, real people with real problems. I mean, you never saw Jim Anderson(Father Knows Best) worry about money, but my friends Kingfish, Andy Brown and Amos sure did. Me, too.