We live in a mad, MAGA land, & indeed possibly, a mad, MAGA world. To make America great again, requires one to look back and ask what made it great in the first place? An affordable home surrounded by a white picket fence, a stay at home wife who dotes on 2.5 kids and a family pet, a reliable automobile and stable employment, color television, etc. Maybe it was the music, the dances. The nostalgia of the earlier days of yore when America (while over a century old) was still a young and naive experiment of a nation. While the haves horded over their riches and endeavored to gain more of those riches, no one gave thought to the have nots.
I don’t know.
It’s hard to move forward or even look in that direction when so much is pulling us all back, tugging at our heart strings and sitting on our faces: Make America Great Again (MAGA).
For me, it’s sickening to think of yesterday. As a person of color, it’s an almost double standard that I fortunately live with and I mean “fortunately” because others from our illustrious past don’t have the luxury of living with it. They died so that I can say stand up in the face of MAGA and say, when was the great nation, America, ever great for all?
And just how great is it for everyone now?
I’ve never been a slave and I have white friends who have never owned a slave. SO what? In America, racism is still very real. It’s the great big boogie man that never went away. America is a nightmare that younger generations of color are just starting to wake up from, and I think that it scares everyone. I think it scares the elder generation more than the younger though. But, anyway.
Two things happened recently on the news.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 29th, Jussie Smollet, a well-known openly gay black actor/social activist was attacked by two men shouting racial slurs and homophobic slurs who threw an unknown chemical on him and put a noose around his neck.
In other news, a well known white actor, Liam Neeson is currently being lambasted on the internet and in the media for a forty year old incident from his past. Neeson admittedly roamed the streets looking for a black man to kill in retaliation for the rape of an unnamed friend, a white female.
Both of these incidents are significant because the reaction at large is showing the world that America still has a problem with discussing its inherent, internalized racism and dealing with the socio-political wounds that have never fully healed.
Apparently time doesn’t heal all wounds.
No time does not. I hate too. It’s embedded in my heart, like a thorn in my palm. But it is reserved for the males and females that caused those wounds, and not a random stranger. I am not better than Liam Neeson, but from the outside looking in, it seems that (40 years ago) Liam Neeson had a lot in common with the two individuals who attacked Jussie Smollet just last week.
And the difference is time. If Jussie Smollett had been a no named anybody on that cold Chicago night, he might be dead and our grandchildren would be discussing his murder in the history books like Emmett Till.
This subject is ugly because racism is ugly. But we have to discuss it. Racism is real. Hate is real. It is a poison that has gotten many of my people killed for just being what they are, and who they were made to be.
It is a Hatred wrought out of ignorance, lack of understanding and common sense. And the old wounds of yesterday will continue to fester, unless we face the truth about ourselves and about America.