If you don’t care to read the musings of an old black man about race relations in the United States, please go somewhere else. This post is not for you. Go back to sleep.
On Sunday, my wife Carol stood up during the time in our church service for “Joys and Concerns” and talked about a streaming video we watched of a young black man who was unjustly detained by a policeman in PA. It was clear that the officer was looking for a confrontation with the driver, who had the presence of mind to stream this stop on Facebook and to call 911 when it was clear the officer was harassing him. Carol also talked about the events in Charlottesville the previous day and how she was afraid for me personally, and our country at large.
I then stood up and told the congregation that I would never own a firearm, and certainly would never have one in my car. I also said I’d never used drugs or have them in my car... just in case this ever became an issue. I’m afraid I was a little too obtuse. Two of my fellow UU members (bless their hearts) asked me what I meant after the service. These women were genuinely shocked when I told them that I have been stopped by police multiple times in my life, that I have been provoked by them, and that I have narrowly escaped from life-threatening situations with police by finding a way to psychologically disarm them. “You!”, they both said, aghast.
Whenever events like Charlottesville occur I do what I call “Racial Calculus” to illustrate to my white friends how I, and other black people feel. Imagine that a group of 500 black men gathered in Charlottesville, and that a great number of them were armed to the teeth with automatic assault rifles, and semiautomatic handguns. Imagine they were also wearing riot gear, camouflage uniforms, and bullet proof vests. I cannot think of what it might be, but imagine they also waved flags and wore recognized symbols of violent hatred towards white people on their clothing. Those men would be exercising their constitutional rights to assemble, enjoy free speech, and bear arms. Let’s admit it... that scene would seem insanely dangerous, terroristic, and threatening to most people. But why? Why is the thought of nearly 500 armed and ideologically dangerous black men so much more terrifying to most than the specter of 500 armed and ideologically dangerous white men? The answer is that unless “Racial Calculus” is applied, most of us simply do not see the explosive reality of racial hatred, and its corrosive effect on us all.
Oh yes – and imagine we had a black president who refused to acknowledge (truly acknowledge) that black people represented by these extremist groups pose a threat to our values and our way of life. It is hard to fathom that such a president could be worse than the one we elected eight months ago... but we did elect such a president. Trump may actually believe that race relations in the United States will be improved by “more jobs”, revealing a staggering ignorance of the subject. He apparently does not understand that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (both slave owners) differ historically from the slave owning generals who attempted to secede from the union and plunged our country into a civil war. But what else can be expected from such a simpleton?
About this blog.
This blog is a place where many of the confluences of my life can be shared. I am, at the core, a creative person. I approach everything from that basis... whether composing symphonies, playing the cello, being a serial entrepreneur, writing sermons and essays, flying airplanes, or creating software apps. I am deeply passionate about creativity, issues of social justice, and spiritual enrichment. These are fundamental to everything I do. Welcome to my journey!