Every morning when we wake up we go through our routine. Everyone does something different in a variety of sequence. One thing I venture to say we all do is take a look in the mirror. It could be while you brush your teeth, fix your hair, do your make up, a final check on your outfit before you leave the house, whatever. Most of us have caught something in that check. A shirt too wrinkled, a piece of breakfast in our teeth, something out of place that says…… whoooaaaahhh, check ya self before ya wreck ya self. Well in 2017, it’s time we get the largest mirror we can find, and hold it up over our entire nation and collectively look up and be honest about the reflection.
That’s right, it’s 2017. We are 150 years removed from the Civil War. We are more than 50 years past the Civil Rights and Voting Rights act. We are almost 9 years past the election of our first Black President. Although time moves on and we, as a nation, buy new clothes and get new haircuts, we are still the same nation founded by and for the dominion of the White Male. The protests and tragedy that occurred this weekend in Charlottesville Virginia are just the most recent chance for us to gaze up into the mirror of who we are and what we look like today.
When I look into that mirror I’m instantly taken to two things. The first is the skit the old Chris Rock show on HBO. You remember the one where he talks about Black folks taking 2 steps forward and 2 steps backwards. Watch it here courtesy of youtube:
The other is the first track on Mos Def’s “Black on Both Sides” CD: ‘Fear Not Man’. posted here with lyrics via Youtube:
We are who we see in the mirror. We are going in the direction of our music, our politics, our media, our representatives, our leaders. All of it is a reflection of the core underneath. Not just the superficial, but the root core. Freedom, Equality, Liberty and Justice for All, the Land of Milk and Honey……. it’s all make up, a new outfit, a pair of Spanx. It may look great to others…… but we know what is underneath. We know who we are at the core.
In 2017, in Charlottesville Virginia, one of the largest gatherings of White Supremacists set off 2 days of protests and counter protests that tragically ended in the death of Heather Heyer because domestic terrorist James Alex Fields Jr. decided he would use his car as a battering ram into a crowd of peopleThese racist groups assembled in Virginia because a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was set to be removed from a public park. Cities around the country are making moves to remove the monuments of the past. Two years ago after the domestic terrorists Dylan Roof shot and killed nine people inside a Charleston S.C. church, the Confederate Flag was finally removed from the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia.
For almost 250 years this Nation has been waking up and looking in the mirror. Buying new clothes, changing haircuts, going on diets, going to the gym, even buying new mirrors hasn’t changed what is looking back at us. The question is are we ever going to be HONEST about what we see? Are we going to stop lying to ourselves? Are we going to one day actually become the nation we dress up as to the rest of the world? Are we going ditch the costumes and stand naked in honest judgement of where we are, and where we want to go?