This year, Presidents’ Day will be celebrated on Monday, February 17. Serious thought should be given to the idea of the highest office in the land in light of the fact that our current president has been impeached! It’s ironic, moreover, that this year Presidents’ day is being celebrated three days after Valentine’s Day, which celebrates LOVE.
Our impeached president has basically set the tone for national behavior by acting as though he is above the law. Imagine, if you will, that you are on trial and you tell the judge that you don’t want any witnesses, and consequently, no witnesses are allowed. Also, imagine that you have been requested to submit important documents pertinent to the case, and you refuse to provide them. Well, you don’t have to really do too much imagining, because it has happened right before our eyes. President Donald Trump has thumbed his nose at the American people and the democratic process. He has eschewed decency. Even though it is obvious to most reasonable people that Trump has violated civility, his followers feel that he has done nothing wrong. Incredible! What has happened is that President Trump has taken the office of president to new lows. That office has been tarnished in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of reasonable people everywhere.
Now, the Black community is experiencing vicious skirmishes at seemingly every level, reflecting the discord and discontent happening nationally. The community is under fire from the police and from other Black people. One of the contentious subjects is based around the issue of reparations. Pan Africanist oriented Blacks are squabbling with pro-ADOS (American Descendants of Slaves) Blacks regarding a reparations strategy.
Somewhat related to this issue is a new fight wherein American Blacks are resentful of Blacks who are not born in America getting acting opportunities that they feel should have gone to American Blacks. Many of these critics are far less than civil, which probably looks ugly from an outsider’s viewpoint. What they no doubt see is Black infighters scrambling for crumbs. If effort was better spent, Blacks would pool their resources and create their own opportunities.
This is happening, however, but for some reason, many Black people are resentful of those who have become successful doing just that. The resentment is so great that civility has flown the coop in frightening ways. An example of this trend is the skirmish surrounding Gayle King’s unfortunate timing of questioning athlete Lisa Leslie about the possible tarnishing of the late Kobe Bryant’s legacy due to a rape accusation that took place more than two decades ago. Though Gayle King apologized and said that things were taken out of context resulting from editing, people are relentless and cruel, and their responses are far out of proportion to her “crime.” For example, gangsta’ rapper and misogynist extraordinaire Snoop Dogg stated, “How dare you try and tarnish my mother*ucking homeboy’s reputation…. Respect the family and back off, b*tch, before we come get you.”
Now this is from someone who made a living denigrating Black people in his music; someone who once performed with women on leashes and who celebrated the virtues of violence and pimp culture. Though he has since apologized, the cat has been let out of the bag and many Black people are participating in an orgy of hate against Gayle King, and by extension, her friend Oprah Winfrey. Both Gayle and Oprah have been accused of deliberately waging a campaign to destroy Black men. The opposition to Oprah and Gayle is being expressed inappropriately, however, and is a demonstration reflecting the lack of civility coming from the White House. The president sets the tone for the rest of the nation. As above, so below!
A famous ancient philosopher is known to have said, in so many words, “As above is like unto that which is below.” This is a nod to the duality that is evident in our lives. Two things can happen with this duality: they can merge to create new realities, or they can split. Splitting is what seems to be happening today in America. Currently, the country is experiencing this dance of dualities; we are a divided nation.
Ultimately, we must face the reality that we will NEVER succeed if we don’t learn how to agreeably disagree. We can’t assume that just because someone has a different opinion and makes decisions that are in opposition to what we think should happen, that they have sinister motives. We must seek the commonality in opposites in a civil manner. We must also VOTE in a new president with a different, more humane vision who will help set a better tone for the nation. Where is the love? Stop the Madness! If we don’t find it, in the words of a wise person, “that’s all she wrote!” A Luta Continua.