And Now For Something Completely Different.
That was one of my favorite phrases from Monty Pythons Flying Circus Shows. It would be the transition for a skit that usually made no sense at all. It was out of left field. It changed direction brilliantly.
If you are blessed to live long enough I hope you will make it to a point in your life when you can get past survival mode and can look at things in your life with a critical eye. I am over 50 years old. I am sharing that because I got good genes and don’t look it but I have been around.
The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates
Although that is one of my favorite Socratic quotations, I know that no one can get to that stage when they are hungry. You can’t sit back and pontificate in survival mode. I’ve been the Black Man With A Gun for the past twenty years now and have gone through the stages of running, gunning, fighting, scrapping and trying to make it in this country with a family.
I thought I would write a few post and then see what happens but something else happened. I really feel compelled to get this out of my head. I don’t even know if anyone is even checking this out but my new friend Jared E. (thanks bro, I am grateful for the one.) If you there too, thank you.
I’ve been lone black man in the room, and I’ve been the one that folks have spoken to, asked the sensitive questions about race, religion and politics. I’ve listened to perspectives that demonstrated that we haven’t come as far as we think.
I plan to set up some sacred cows and shoot them with a grenade launcher. Why do we still do things that separate us? I want to expose the racism on both sides of the fence. I want to expose our ignorance and our arrogance. I want to share what is working and what is broken. It might get messy in here but you’ve been warned. I am hoping I have the guts to keep going after I get hit with the negative energy I unleash in folks. I’m hoping I can be like that shop vac, that sucks up the big stuff but throws dust all over your room with this one.
I don’t play golf but there is a term I love called “mulligan.”
According to the “urban dictionary:
A Mulligan, in a game, happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action; usually due to lack of skill or bitter luck. A “Do-Over”. Like getting an “Extra Play” in pinball due to sinking the ball before obtaining an arbitrary amount of points.
For this conversation, posting and comments, I am giving you a mulligan. Please know in advance that I don’t blame you for the sins of your father. I ‘ll take you at your word until you prove to be an ass on your own. Everybody else gets a mulligan. I hope you will give me mine when I step on your toes or say something you think I shouldn’t. It’s in the dialog that we grow and learn. Here I am seeking to be understood and to understand.
I want to break up the negative thoughts that come from thinking about some of the brokenness in our society. You have probably be hurt on more than one occasion by racism, prejudice or being accused of being racist. What it has done is made all of us “hate” to talk about it. I have had monologues that usually result in tons of feedback or comments grow cold with the inference to race issues.
We are all sensitive to it. We often say the wrong things—every time. We go at this race and prejudice thing hard. We don’t realize that the two are different. We respond in kind to the pain and frustration. And it either makes the conversation flagrant, abusive, heated, or dead cold out of safety concerns. I am here to say I understand. I am not perfect so don’t purposely try to piss me off, you might succeed.
In the next few post I am going to talk about politics, history, Ferguson, MO, George Zimmerman, and Trayvon Martin, and some of the countless accounts of clashes with the police. All just my opinion. OK?
(to be continued)