Friday, February 20, 2009

Standing Here Wondering on the Finally Friday Freakout

It has been a week of contradictions. Is you is or is you ain't a person? How much of a person are you? Do you have papers to prove your humanity this time?

Touchy aren't you? Why can't you people understand satire?

When I was younger I learned about civil rights and wrongs. I thought this mess would be cleaned up when I got to be a grown up. All the stupid people would be dead and the rest of us would be cleansed of the past.

This was a childish thought.

It has been a week of grown folks being proud to print a cartoon showing a monkey shot dead that was being held responsible for the stimulus passage. When I saw the cartoon I flashed to the video of the young man shot dead in Oakland, CA at the BART station. Cops standing around. A body on the ground.

I flashed forward to the unspeakable fear I have about Obama sharing Lincoln's fate. This is why I want him to lay off the Lincoln analogies and connections. I want to be at his 96th birthday party. I have planned for it and we can talk about the seating arrangements later.

I flashed at both my firm belief in freedom of speech and knowing wish fulfillment in pen and ink when I see it. I flash at opportunists and people honestly in pain. A pain inflicted to remind me that there is so much work to be done it ain't funny.

I don't want an apology. They cannot remove it from my sight or memory. I thank them for knowing where they stand. Someday that newspaper will be no more. On that day, I will smile. That will be apology enough.

I could dog pile a list of other contradictions of the week but my gut is on fire as it is. So in the spirit of my paternal grandmother we are gonna bring a little church up in here. Because although I will not step foot in a church unless absolutely necessary, I do know that music can heal. This is part of my heritage. My African-American heritage. I ain't giving up the hyphen for nobody.

This recording was the soundtrack of a famous public service announcement about not dropping out of high school. It ran for years on every television network. It was a video of a young man standing at a parking meter. Poor soul did not know if he should turn left or right. He was just standing, lost inside of himself.

Yeah, maybe I'll go to the ocean and gaze into the mystic or something. Or dig up my Van Morrison tape. I gotta do something. Maybe the dishes.

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