There are important moments that stand out to me as a African American.
One of them being the murder of Michael McDonald by two KKK members in March 198,1 4 months before I was born. This was considered the last official lynching in the USA. He was picked at random, kidnapped, attacked and beaten in a secluded area. His attackers, before slitting his throat and hanging him from a tree, strangled him with a rope.
This is a sobering reminder to me that if time travel is ever a reality, I shouldn’t visit the past, literally and figuratively. Relieving the past, even from within the confines of the margins on the page as an anachronistic witness, is enough still to transport a person to one of the many white rooms of lobotomized history where whispers keep the Truth interred in an ambiance of white noise – the main derivative by-product of the frenetic pace of living we are all secretly trying to abscond from.
The continued existence of Kobe Bryant is another significant moment to me. Two or three decades before it was common to arrest, jail and kill a black man for the thought that he might have had consensual sex with a white women.
But my point in mentioning these ignoble events is not to make you upset, it is to bring you to a common familiar quote by Anton Chekhov. It is my hope that in taking a long circuitous journey we might be able to extract something sustaining from his genius.
Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.
This inhumane act I mentioned earlier and many more like: Emmett Till, 16th Street Baptist Church bombing , Death of Yusef Hawkins, 1980 Miami riots, Murder of James Byrd, Jr. Willie Turks, Thibodaux massacre, Willie Edwards, George W. Lee, are each a tall dark tower that dots the moral landscape of this great nation of ours. Not only do they serve as sign posts indicating to the traveler through American History, pivotal moments where our commitment to human rights was called into question but they serve to cast huge tracts of lands and people on them of course into shadow.
- Alabama sororities refusal to admit African-American students
- debate over unjust Stop and Frisk laws in New York City
- Chicago is shutting down schools in predominantly black neighborhoods.
- in Seattle, there’s outrage over the treatment of black students in the education system.
I hate talking about racism. It’s bad enough that fate deems I have to experience it. I don’t want to think about it or be the guy who is always talking about it and maybe that’s just the daily reality wearing me down. Maybe there is a part of me that is dying or probably that has died to that most human part of you that I should be able to trust.
But I am not so worried about that. I tended trees once at one of my old jobs. These trees grew , they grew tall and massive and where able to shade people and critters from the sun in summer and shield them from the wind in the winter even those they were plagued with considerable rot and other plant diseases.