I have always identified myself as African-American. I embrace who I am and where I come from. I proudly tell anyone who listens to me that despite being stripped of our culture, our language, our very identity and sold into slavery, despite Jim Crow, despite the KKK and other groups that hate us, despite the economic and social inequality thrust upon us and a host of other roadblocks African Americans are as responsible as any other people in the shaping of America into the country it is today. Unfortunately, like many African Americans, I have been called a nigger; I have had the barrel of a police officer’s gun pointed directly at my face for merely throwing a football in the backyard of a friend who happened to live in an all-white neighborhood. Despite never being in trouble with the law and not dressing like the mythical stereotypical “threatening African American male,” I’ve been stopped for driving while black, stopped and frisked for no apparent reason, and seen white women cross the street at night when they have noticed me. Yet my story is a little more complicated than just the color of my skin. Adopted, it wasn’t until my late 30s did I discover I was half white. A DNA test courtesy of 23 and me confirmed that my DNA profile is mostly Nigerian, twenty-seven percent, followed closely at twenty-four percent Ashkenazi Jew. So, for the KKK, I’m the jackpot, you know, lynch one get one free. In totality, I’m Fifty-four percent Sub-Saharan African and Forty-three percent European. The bottom line is that no matter who my DNA traces back to, I’m always going to be who I am. Anyone who knows me or meets me should judge me based on my character, not the color of my skin, what religion I practice, my sexual orientation, country of origin, or a host of other factors we have invented to separate ourselves from one another.
In the very beginning of the 1968 classic Planet of the Apes, Charleston Heston’s character Colonel Taylor wonders if that throughout the thousands of galaxies, millions of stars, if there is only one, a speck of solar dust we call Earth that has been graced or cursed by human life. He wonders if man, the marvel of the universe, still makes war against his brother and lets his neighbor’s children starve. At the end of the movie, Dr. Zaius informs Taylor that he has always known about the man and that he must be a warlike animal who gives battles to everything around him, even himself. Science fiction from over fifty years ago or reality from today? Because as we are getting ready to usher in the third decade of the twenty-first century, we are still waging war against each other, even letting our neighbor’s children starve, and always looking to give battle to ourselves. The ending of Planet of the Apes doesn’t paint a bright future for humanity, YOU BLEW IT UP, and it does not take much to suspend belief very much to see our future playing out the same way.
In the last few years, America has seen a rise in hate crimes as a percentage of Americans increasingly feel threatened by anyone who does not look, sound, live or worship the way they do. It has always been a simmering, but now with an administration that tacitly endorses it, remember a group that walked the streets of Charlottesville chanting the Jew will never replace us was said to have good people, it seems ready to boil over.Now is a crucial time we as a people must guard against our prejudices and make no mistake no matter who we are; we all have some biases dwelling with-in us. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided. I have heard a few of my Jewish brothers and sisters. Dismissing Black Lives Matter with comments as if they don’t want to be targeted, they shouldn’t commit crimes. I have heard a few of my African brothers and sisters dismiss anti-Semitic violence as overblown, angrily wondering why bigotry is seemingly only deemed a problem when it happens to the Jews and not when it happens to the African American community. I have heard both groups go after one another over the nonsensical debate about what was worse, the holocaust or slavery. I have witnessed African Americans and Latinos who loath each other as they fight over the limited resources afforded to them because of inherent social and economic inequality. It is precisely these divides that play into the hand of those who preach racism and bigotry. Keep them divided and fighting among themselves, they say it makes it easier for us to keep them down. Yet despite all of this, I genuinely believe, as I have said many times in this blog as time goes by, those who preach racism, bigotry, sexism, judge people based on their religion, or are homophobic are a dying breed. We must not give them any life by falling into their trap of fighting among ourselves.
We are the voice of the many.
We see no difference in each other.
We judge each other for who we are and what we do.
We unite as one people.
We are America!
And we are gaining in strength every day, and it’s just a matter of time before we defeat you.
Message from above
Genesis 1:27 And God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
So I created humanity? Not Americans, Mexicans, Chinese, etc., but humanity as a whole and children, no matter what nationality label you put on them, are the most vulnerable and precious part of my creation. Hmmm, yet you still divide the beautiful resources of this unique planet I gave you instead of sharing it. You still believe it is morally correct to stand up and proclaim America or insert whatever country you want first while others suffer. Well, I see as a species, despite the gift of thought that I blessed you with, you still have much to learn. Let me give you a little head start; try proclaiming this -Humanity first
I say the future is ours…
…if you can count!
Now, look what we have
here before us.
We’ve got the Muslims…
…sitting next to
We’ve got the Christians …
…right by the Atheists
The Whites up against the Blacks and the heterosexuals back to back with the homosexuals.
Nobody is wasting nobody.
…is a miracle.
is the way things ought to be.
You’re standing right now
with nine delegates from every race, nationality religion and sexual orientation
That’s over 7 and a half billion humans.
Now, put that in perspective and you’ll understand there ain’t but a handful of racist, misogynist, intolerant hate filled humans left in this whole world
Can you dig it?
Can you dig it?
Can you dig it?
Now here’s the sum total.
Unity and tolerance could run this world.
We could make it a paradise. Because we got the Earth
Can you dig it?
The problem in the past
has been those committed to hate and division turning us against one another.
We have been unable
to see the truth,
because we’ve been fighting
for 10 square feet of ground,
our turf, our little piece of turf.
That’s crap, brothers and sisters
The turf is ours by right
because it’s our turn.
All we have to do
is see the good in each other
We slowly root out the hate from each corner of the globe
Secure our territory,
secure our turf
because it’s all our turf and this Earth would be a paradise.
Can you dig it.
An angel walks into a room with a Christian who celebrates Christmas. A Jew who celebrates Hanukkah and an African American who celebrates Kwanza. The angel quickly looks around and says Happy Holidays to everyone. At that moment, an individual in the corner sighs loudly. The angel turns to the man and asks, is there a problem, sir? To which the man responded, well, since you asked, there is. I’m so tired of you liberals and your war on Christmas. What wrong with just saying Merry Christmas as we did in the good old days. The angel looked at the man and laughed and then politely said, sir, it would seem you and not me who is waging war on Christmas. Me? Responded the man shockingly. Yes, you said the angel, for on the day Jesus was born, an angel-like myself told all those in the manger I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. He did not identify only a selection of people to wish great joy. He wished it to all. We are all God’s children, and he wishes that we love each other and respect each other faiths as his children. If you choose to turn a cold shoulder to or belittle those who wish happiness to all, then it is you who are soiling the true meaning of Christmas.
There is nothing more ugly than division and hate for each other with the exception of those who promote it for personal gain. One day they will have to stand before the creator and justify the unjustifiable.
There is nothing more beautiful than unity and compassion for each other. Blessings shall be showered unto those of us who who practice it. For we all God’s children regardless of what we may look like.
I close my eyes and listen for the silence. I have subconsciously transported my soul, my inner self, to another level. A level where I am all alone, where nothing or no one can touch me. It is here where I find my peace unburdened by expectations, free to speak, even if no one is listening, my feelings, unafraid of what obstacle a higher power has deemed I must jump over this time. Here I feel free a sense of calm. There is no show to put on for others, no feelings to hold on to so as not to offend others, no worries about the next setback. Here I can just be me. But I know I can not stay in this place. So I open my eyes and the light shines through, the noise is all around and I am transported back to reality. It is back to who I am or who I pretend to be. Others will live their lives unencumbered by who I’m really am. They will live with only a hint of the true me that slips out from time to time. I guess that is the way it must be for as Mr. Spock once said the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and I am the few.
We come to this Christmas day with dark clouds swirling all around us, divided as a people, hatred seemingly waiting around every corner. But we also come to this day with the power to summon the true meaning of the season from with-in each of our hearts. So let us not dwell on the painful times behind us but rather let us use them as a turning point to joyous times ahead. Let us bring forth the spirit of love, peace and hope and look to our neighbors whomever they may be and wish them good tidings of great joy and peace on earth. Because after all that’s what Christmas is all about.