The ‘Not Yet’ Reality of Racism

boston

Boston rally – photo credit – CNN

A dear friend once used the phrase ‘not yet’ to suggest a descriptive moment in our lives that though I will not describe that context, I will explore the phrase as it pertains to our lives in America today. As I write this commentary, I notice a massive gathering of protesters in Boston to represent all sides in light of the Charlottesville tragedy. To be clear, it has been reported that this Boston ‘Freedom’ rally was planned in advance to last week’s hate melee in Virginia; however, at the same time, authorities are said to be prepared for outbreaks, and have given notice to all participants.

I’m personally very happy to see this gathering, and my wishes are for a completely peaceful representation. After all, wouldn’t it be refreshing to be able to say this evening, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Boston Commons without incident? We can only hope, but in the meantime, let’s talk about the ‘not yet’ factor of racism in America. After all, a score of you reading this right now may be sitting in your chair at home or in the office, or sharing drinks or coffee with friends having a dialogue, expounding upon the issues that haunt our country’s racial divide, but just aren’t quite ready to become involved. Many of you might even be saying, I believe the issue exists, but I just don’t want to become … not yet.

After Charlottesville and the notable incidents that will appear to evolve from today’s rallies, my suggestion would be that the time is now. We can all in less than five minutes name a string of current events that impact the racial divide in America. It is time to stop suggesting we are over reacting and begin to address the issues that exist in our society today. Right now, today as I write this I feel a stronger tension than I did as a child growing up in the 60’s. Granted I wasn’t yet in my teens, but I listened to my older siblings, and watched the news with a very well informed mother and father.

The fact that civil rights set such a precedent in the 60’s gives cause to argue that what is happening today in our world is throwing all of that effort out the window. It would seem today, we are right back where we started with open violence attached to racial discrimination. There are no filters, and our children, the young people growing up with this mindset should be our primary concern.

What scares me the most is the actions that happen behind closed doors, just like the very pub or coffee shop you are sitting in right now. Those conversations need to be geared toward reframing our thinking, to understand what ‘love’ means as opposed to the insidious nature of ‘hate’ in America. Time magazine recently published a cover page with the American flag and the heading ‘Hate in America’ as its bi-line. I scratched out hate and wrote love above it and posted it on Facebook, but then took it down because of copyright infringement.

We need to start to dialogue together, to inform one another of the long-term effects of racism, not as much our future but how the past has impacted a way of thinking today, that will not improve if society doesn’t begin to collectively listen. Let’s ignore the ‘not yet’ and begin to act now.

In the meantime, let’s wish for peaceful strolls throughout some major metropolitan cities where protesters are presently laying emphasis on the cause for peace and unity throughout this gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

 

 

Shaded Tone

FullSizeRender 13

Amid a shelter sun glances my natural setting,

I do imagine only the lightest of notion,

the beauty of the day, the ease in time,

to know our lives were meant to live this way.

 

When the eyes forever see the forest blend,

Is it not a remarkable reality to breathe in,

such beauty in a horizon filled by love,

allows desire, passion, wanton hope evolve.

 

For I am a single soul in the grip of natural light,

expectant only to travel in peace tonight,

watching the world through leaves of July,

knowing the august of my life is near by.

 

Feel the breeze, cool dew lays ground,

coming alive, sweet Nature’s bound.

What Is Integrity

I’m asking,

not knowing,

I’m believing,

not completely understanding.

I do know this,

a smile, a gracious compliment, a willingness

to step above the fray,

I know there are opportunities likes this,

to find our soul.

Is that it I wonder to myself a loud.

is all I’m doing part of the greater measure

designed to help me find that inner peace,

the road inside the forest,

the one with leaves overhanging, an occasional owl at twilight,

whereby the gravel takes us further into the mystique,

and at any point where might wish,

desire, anticipate, yearn, want with every fiber in our being,

to be swallowed whole in the mystery of the wood.

Is that integrity?

Is that running away?

Is that where this piece is going,

again today,

sitting in the shadows,

watching the sun in complete motion,

move past my windows, changing hue,

accentuating different parts of the room,

much like our words,

expressions, desire, passions,

do change the common need to find goodness,

in our heart.

Perhaps there is a solution after all.

Conversations Again

I’m sitting in my local coffee shop,

listening to Bjork shout angst toward

human behavior,

and I have to pause, listen to the words,

watch the lips move,

‘same as it ever was’

a lyric David Byrne gave us years ago,

and yet,

the conversations are still the same,

people trying to make each other,

make each other believe,

a promise, an idea, an ideal, a plea,

a necessary tool toward their own

imminent survival.

It is this human condition,

causes all of us,

well most,

to somehow indicate we can communicate,

participate, challenge, inform, suggest,

repeal,

what a God-awful reality,

when our luxuries of communications,

fall into the trappings,

the attitude, the ugly, the incomprehensible nature,

of human hypocrisy.

On Waking the Soul

We carry ourselves,

a part of the said society,

the local groove,

where be our means,

we define who we are,

why we do,

where it is we belong,

based upon the couple next door,

the family down the street,

the look of the vendor,

when purchasing ordinary.

 

We measure our lives,

in respect to the tone of voice,

our own ‘pardon me’ provides,

when we mean it,

or certainly when we don’t

and the recipient

does realize,

we do surmise

to disguise,

rather than look in each other’s

eyes.

 

It is the Is

they speak aloud

when walking together

in the street,

sitting in a gathering of

many souls,

when in the moment,

we all seem to share

the similar goals.

 

So how is it we can in unison,

even begin to understand,

we all have similar souls.

Living With Anxiety

How many are out there, when the sky turns gray,

where does the heart remain,

the fear in our mind,

in the quiet of an angry world,

how do we all come to terms with that reality,

the personality of peace.

 

We all seek that solace,

no matter the denial, beyond the circumstance

suggests we can belong inside this melting lava of judgment,

seems everyone does want some time to cool off,

and yet,

we plod on,

build the walls around ourselves,

that will prevent the leak,

that could envelop our soul to such a dire degree,

it no longer matters if we believe in freedom,

that kite has flown,

yes it is a pretty sight,

so tangible as the sky does drift its matter into eternal waste.

 

Would we really call it disposable justice

to recognize we might all feel it.

There on the horizon, we wake to look at the sky,

if a storm looms, we immediately recognize

the nature of our lives is out of our control,

and yet,

we fight that truth with every fiber in our body,

and then,

there is always the truth, when suddenly

we become lost in the translation of our it is,

we might even breathe another gasp,

instead we pretend we are beyond this mortality.

Isolated Storm Clouds

See them and imagine the future,

an ominous purple haze of opportunity,

for it is the chaos of our lives,

allows change to overcome the static.

 

Seek a society of forgiveness,

the travels of pain sometime hidden,

yet the exposure to the elements

often a truly ominous test resilient.

 

When washed ashore in crude oil,

stains did seem to be eternal,

with each soaking, the mind,

nearly gave up on finding shelter.

 

It is in the addict’s eye

the storm will always remain,

it depends only upon a realization

that life contains sweet horizons.

 

We would only give attention

to the happiness we dwell upon,

a city scape, an ocean view,

a soft breeze in a given milieu.

 

The deep and threatening wall

of circumstance that will prevail

is only Nature’s manner of suggestion

we all would know to typically fall.