Once, the colored wa­ter tasted so good - not now

South Florida Times - - OPINION - Jack Ni­col­son as The Joker in The Bat­man movie said “What this (coun­try) needs is an en­ema." [email protected]

As a lit­tle girl, I use to won­der if that ex­tra ‘fla­vor­ing’ came from the rust that cor­roded the spigot. I thought, maybe it was the ex­treme heat from the Florida sun that warmed the liq­uid; turn­ing it into some­thing tasty. I was warned to not let my mouth touch it or I’d get poi­soned. Hmmm. Did it taste dif­fer­ent up north? Bet­ter?

I was told that sep­a­rate was equal; the wa­ter from the white foun­tain was the same as my colored wa­ter. I knew bet­ter, even at the ten­der age of five.

Now, it does not mat­ter so much if you were born af­ter 1964 (pas­sage of The Civil Rights Act), when sep­a­rate pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties were de­clared un­con­sti­tu­tional. You too, have tasted tainted wa­ter.

Tainted by big­otry (a per­sonal choice), dis­crim­i­na­tion (a le­gal act), prej­u­dice (a poi­soned mind) or just plain ig­no­rance (re­fusal to learn bet­ter). And that de­scribes just about ev­ery­one. We have all drunk the wa­ter! Blacks, whites, browns, oth­ers, have been fed so many lies about the na­tion’s his­tory and the treat­ment of var­i­ous folk and their ex­is­tence in these United States of Amer­ica, that for those of us who have re­fused to drink the tainted wa­ter any­more, our ar­gu­ments are fall­ing onto deaf ears. Our broth­ers and sis­ters have been hood­winked. Over and over again.

For in­stance, so many di­ver­gent points of view have emerged over these past two weeks about the Black Pan­ther break­out suc­cess. Re­minder: It is the ori­gin story of a comic book hero and a fic­ti­tious king­dom in Africa that is set in the fu­ture. De­li­cious points of dis­cus­sion have come for­ward.

Don’t let those facts es­cape you: Fu­tur­is­tic. Fan­tas­ti­cal. And yes, fab­u­lous.

Sadly, cel­e­bra­tion over the movie was in­ter­rupted af­ter a mass mur­derer killed 17 stu­dents and teach­ers in Park­land, Florida- with a con­tro­ver­sial vari­a­tion of a fast shoot­ing ri­fle.

So, here and now, we need to-once again­deal with that pesky sec­ond amend­ment night­mare that has haunted us-par­tic­u­larly black folk- since the 1790s, when they passed the deal, and when most AfricanAmer­i­cans were still le­gal chat­tel.

Fast for­ward to to­day, and we need to wake up to the knowl­edge that the sec­ond amend­ment was writ­ten at the time of the orig­i­nal Amer­i­cans’ well-founded fear of tyranny; fear that the newly formed fed­eral gov­ern­ment would usurp a State’s right to form its own mili­tia, to pro­tect its cit­i­zens. Such fears should not ex­ist to­day: we have a na­tional army, air force, navy, and ma­rine corps.

But there is this lin­ger­ing doubt, amongst more than a few, about the threat from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment which con­tin­ues to stoke some peo­ple’s fears that their in­di­vid­ual rights, and their rights to own guns, might be taken by big, bad gov­ern­ment. Ouch! And what about the black folk who, for decades, were tyr­an­nized by state formed mili­tia, “pa­trols,” which were formed by the States un­der the 2nd amend­ment? Ves­tiges from that pe­riod of time have been passed on into the very DNA of de­scen­dants of those for­mer slaves.

There is fear all around. The ar­gu­ment over the mean­ing and ef­fi­cacy of the 2nd Amend­ment went dor­mant for 100+ years. But now we have WMDs in our homes; on our streets, and in the hands of mad­men.

Ev­ery time we get into gun de­bates, I am re­minded of an­other comic book char­ac­ter who de­clared: “What this (coun­try) needs is an en­ema.” (Spo­ken by Jack Ni­col­son as The Joker in The Bat­man movie.)

Let’s see if we can push the re­set but­ton on this dis­cus­sion.

Ques­tion: Where does any res­o­lu­tion of the sec­ond amend­ment (less­en­ing gun own­er­ship; elim­i­nat­ing cer­tain type of au­to­matic weapons; in­au­gu­rat­ing an­other form of a well-reg­u­lated mili­tia) leave black folk who own guns, and how are the in­di­vid­ual States pre­pared to pro­tect and serve our needs?

Wait! Isn’t that called the lo­cal and state po­lice, or the Na­tional Guard? Doesn’t give you much com­fort, does it?

Folks, I live in Texas where the gun is king of the totems of American cit­i­zen­ship. Peo­ple here can open carry! Am I in­tim­i­dated? You bet!

And you folk in Florida can stand your ground! Oh my.

Know­ing how the west was won, and the ten­u­ous posi­ton that all black and brown skinned peo­ple (es­pe­cially men) hold in Amer­ica, it makes me sick to think that we may be un­der-pro­tected by the ‘well­main­tained mili­tia.’

That we may be armed as well as any other group gives me ad­di­tional cause for pause: it feels like the whole coun­try is headed to­ward a con­fla­gra­tion of ‘us’ ver­sus ‘them’ over a num­ber of po­si­tions: lib­eral v con­ser­va­tive; Evan­gel­i­cals v non-be­liev­ers; birth rights v rights to choice; black (brown v white), etc.

I have not yet de­ter­mined my fi­nal po­si­tion on this one, and I’m not sure how much more time we have left be­fore an­other mass mur­derer shoots up a church, a school, an out­door con­cert, a col­lege cam­pus……..

It re­ally may be time to pick sides, but please be clear about why hav­ing/car­ry­ing or shoot­ing a gun is im­por­tant to you/yours.

Are you still drink­ing the tainted wa­ter? What’s in your gun closet? Can we ac­tu­ally ever live in Wakanda? Con­tact Us 954.356.9360 • 2701 W Oak­land Park Blvd, Suite 320 • Oak­land Park, FL 33311 • www.SFLTimes.com

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