‘A perpetual narrative’

I have tried, so many times, and in so many ways, to understand why people vote the way they do. As most people eventually do, I came to the conclusion that choices are not based on logic.

For example, I was just stunned to hear Alabama Republicans come to the defense of Roy Moore in the 2017 election. I’m not going to itemize the many reasons why he was unfit to be elected to the US Senate. If you looked at his candidacy logically, he never would have been put forward as a candidate in the first place. Despite that, people in his party did, and strongly supported him.

The point I’m trying to make isn’t related to Roy Moore specifically, but to what I heard the governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey say. Which was she would support any Republican candidate, no matter how flawed. Would never vote for a Democrat.

The upside is Roy Moore was, narrowly defeated. The success of his rival, Doug Jones, is attributed to the work and votes of women of color.

I’m thinking of these things, or actually, how could I not be thinking of these things in the face of the continued onslaught of state sponsored violence against Black, Indigenous and other people of color? State sponsored, public lynching?

How could I not be thinking of these things when we’re assaulted daily by an administration and political party intent on oppressing us all, taking away the tools that used to work for redress of grievances? Sabotaging the election, subverting the singular process by which we replace such politicians? Attempting to deny us the nonviolent transfer of power. An administration that failed so badly on the coronavirus pandemic. That alone should guaranteed the defeat of this president. But that is not a sure thing.

So much of this is related to our separateness from each other. So many leave their houses, sealed in a car, work in their sealed offices or stores, return to their sealed up houses. No wonder people can buy in to all kinds of ridiculous stories about ‘others’. Stories that would be discounted if people of diverse race or status spent any time with each other.

First and foremost, all of us, every last one of us, must engage others in our work, home and play spaces to have honest, open and authentic conversations around the issue of inequity.

Imhotep Adisa

I was truly blessed to have become involved with the Kheprw Institute (KI) in Indianapolis. Monthly, mainly white Quakers from the meeting I attended would participate in book discussions at KI. Once Imhotep Adisa, one of the leaders of KI, said, “these conversations are revolutionary.” I was surprised, but saw that was true. People of color and White people sharing their stories with each other, getting to know each other. Becoming friends.


Continue to push for something different

How can we create some processes and procedures to mitigate inequity in our social, legal and economic structures? How can we begin some conversations about creating a system that is equitable? What can each of us do in the present to advance equity in our society? And how do we continue to fight for equity during these difficult times?

First and foremost, all of us, every last one of us, must engage others in our work, home and play spaces to have honest, open and authentic conversations around the issue of inequity. Some of us, particularly those in positions of power, must have the courage and strength to look more deeply at the inequitable structures that exist within their own organizations and institutions.

Is equity possible in a world after COVID-19? by Imhotep Adisa, Indianapolis Recorder, May 15, 2020

I’ve come to a depressing conclusion: the November election is about one thing  and  one  thing only. The results–and the margin of victory– will tell us  whether  America is finally ready to address the virulent racism that has  infected both our personal  attitudes  and our governing institutions, and say “enough.”

The Election In Black And White by Sheila Kennedy, Sept 7, 2020

When democracy came to America, it was wrapped in white skin and carrying a burning cross. In the early 19th century, the same state constitutional conventions that gave the vote to propertyless white men disenfranchised free Blacks. For the bulk of our republic’s history, racial hierarchy took precedence over democracy. Across the past half century, the U.S. has shed its official caste system, and almost all white Americans have made peace with sharing this polity with people of other phenotypes. But forfeiting de jure supremacy is one thing; handing over de facto ownership of America’s mainstream politics, culture, and history is quite another. And as legal immigration diversifies America’s electorate while the nation’s unpaid debts to its Black population accrue interest and spur unrest, democracy has begun to seek more radical concessions from those who retain an attachment to white identity. A majority of light-skinned Americans may value their republic more than their (tacit) racial dominance. But sometimes, minorities rule.

Many GOP Voters Value America’s Whiteness More Than Its Democracy by Eric Levitz, Intelligencer, SEPT. 2, 2020

During the first night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Leon Bridges appeared to perform his single “Sweeter,” in honor of George Floyd and the countless other lives lost to racial profiling and police brutality.

Bridges originally released the song following the death of Floyd and as the Black Lives Matter movement picked up steam around the country in June. The singer told Billboard that he had written the song a year before, and was sad to see that it was still relevant. “It’s a perpetual narrative … but at the same time, I’m still optimistic because it’s been amazing to see everyone come together to fight for equality.”

Leon Bridges Hopes for a ‘Sweeter’ Future at 2020 Democratic National Convention, Leon Bridges Hopes for a ‘Sweeter’ Future at 2020 Democratic National Convention by Stephen Daw, Billboard, 8/17/2020

Leon Bridges – Sweeter (Official Video) ft. Terrace Martin

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Hoping for a life more sweeter

Instead I’m just a story repeating

Why do I fear with skin dark as night?

Can’t feel peace with those judging eyes

I thought we moved on from the darker days

Did the words of the King disappear in the air

Like a butterfly?

Somebody should hand you a felony’

Cause you stole from me

My chance to be

Hoping for a life more sweeter

Instead I’m just a story repeating

Why do I fear with skin dark as night?

Can’t feel peace with those judging eyes

The tears of my Mother rain, rain over me

My sisters and my brothers sing, sing over me

And I wish I had another day

But it’s just another day

Hoping for a life more sweeter

Instead I’m just a story repeating

Why do I fear with skin dark as night?

Can’t feel peace with those judging eyes

Hoping for a life more sweeter

Leon Bridges ‘Sweeter’

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