My best friend and I are like fire and ice. Where I burn with idealism she chills with ice cold cynicism and her own special version of pessimistic nature. We differ so much that we have extensive conversation about humanity and if it really exists.
When the verdict of Philando Castile came down in Twitter feeds, Facebook posts and IG mentions flooded the web. Being who I am I donated my two cents and a question about the missing rage amongst white people (I was generalizing of course). Another friend of mine and I debated. We debated directly from our personal experiences and opinions. His was as a young white male and mine as a black female. Now I’ll apologize to Jon-Paul immediately, I know the last thing he’d want is to be defined by his whiteness, but this requires me to do so. We freely talked about our difference in opinion because although we come from different worlds we respect that we do. My best friend said why are you looking for rage from whites? Whites live in another world than we do? And then I started to think. In a country that is so polarized now is there any hope? My best friend is not an idealist, she is a realist, she believes in the things that have proof in the here and now, the potential for the greatness of humanity does not hold a great deal of hope to either side of the aisle to her.
Trump voters feel marginalized and the marginalized feel silenced and forgotten about. Everyone is worried that someone else will get something they didn’t have, or that they didn’t pay dues to get. The church is more concerned with doctrine and assessments than they are with souls and making the world a better place. The religious that are not concerned with that are concerned with religious piousness, are you gay, did you have your children out of wedlock? Our men are more concerned with whether mothers are getting credit on Father’s Day, as opposed to the fact that the real issue is that we have a very real problem in this country keeping families together. For black youth to be smart is to be labeled white and to be and love black culture is a fabrication of progress that this country has purchased hook line and sinker, to the detriment of us all unfortunately. We live in a world where we are judged by the clothes that we wear, who we speak to, how much we paid for sneakers. We are defined by popular fashion names, whose shoes, bags, belts, shirts and other useless items we possess. Our jails are filled with children we have failed in our foster care system, children we have thrown away and do not answer to, but punish two and three times after we have left them alone during the most vulnerable time of their lives; childhood. We wish ill and envy on those with the trappings of wealth or the subliminal messages of overachieving welfare wealth . . .
What is to become of us? Will we rise above the poverty of our culture? Will we begin to see each other as people with families? People who wish only the best for our children . . . I have hope . . .I choose HOPE. We can make this country better than it is, that it ever was . . . when we look at the slogan Make America Great Again, we need to be mindful that this county has not always been great for everyone. This country has been great to a certain few and a lot of those times it has been those with the wealth to insulate and the color of whiteness that incurs privilege. And though we may not agree that does not mean that we stop listening to the pain of the past and the future, to the concerns of the people of these United States, it means we become even more attentive because that is how we are all heard, that is how we make a country great. We do not make it great with pain, and hurt, and hate doing that will only prolong the legacy of destruction that we have built a good deal of this country on. For better or worse we are all here, and we are all the better for it.