Once, the colored water tasted so good - not now
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.
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