Oh my goodness, the media loves to keep asking the question, are we or aren't we? That use to be in reference to if we were coloring our hair, but by today's standards, it bring us to a whole 'nother level.
I am going to try to lighten the load this morning.
For me that meant turning up the youtube to bring in a little lyrical levity, as music does wonders to the soul; and what did I start with you ask?
This, in tribute to Michael,
...if you're thinking about my baby it don't matter if you're black or white...
I found the version with lyrics to help you sing along; gotta love Michael's heart; a better video includes McCauley Culkin, but I will leave that to you to find on your own xx As we came to realize over time, Michael was a troubled soul.
Yet, being one who grew up with the Jackson 5, ABC and 123, my favorite Michael era was when he was a kid like me. As a kid, I saw of course that he was a different color than me, but I was so fascinated by this family of brothers, all dancing and singing, looking like they were having such a good time entertaining people,the furthest thing from my mind were thoughts pertaining to inequalities of his race; for he was the kid on TV, not me.
He was the lucky one. He was the star. Now looking back, it is I who held the memory of inadequacy, not Micheal; my perception was that of comparison of this kid making himself a bigger than life phenomenon, me? I went to ballet class and was in a recital for moms and dads and grandparents -- oh joy -- but not the entire world. They were on TV, what else was a child to think? (Of course, it was Marcia, Marcia, Marcia on the Brady Bunch who I really wanted to be; Maryann on Gilligan's Island was out of the question, as she really wasn't real)...oh the woes of childhood.
There have been lots of guessing as to the how and why the Michael we loved and grew up with slowly transformed right before our very eyes. I don't think anybody will really know all there was behind the glove; may we all hope he finds himself finally at peace up there in heaven, entertaining angels and dancing with the stars.
Let's dig a little deeper,
The book written by Barack Obama, even before his election to the Illinois State Senate, is truly a piece of work. Some say, it was written to assist the Chicago (ethnic) public in understanding a deeper sense of the man, particularly with respect to what side of the mouth Obama would be smacking, in an effort to win over the votes of a community (ACORN anyone?).
You see, the man in the Big White House was raised asking himself questions as to who he was all his life; having come from a white mama and a black papa. And from all appearances within the book he wrote, his childhood, in his own words, was wrecked with an identity crisis; rooted in every racial slur, acts of bigotry, separation, hate, violence, pain, loneliness, insecurity, loss of childhood, dysfunctional adulthood, always seeking, never finding, wrapping up every fire and ice storm of the last two hundred years into one book. What a weight of the world for a young boy to carry...
"I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."
"I found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race."
"I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, Dubois and Mandela."He made very public his private pain, why?
My Yellowstone mug I took with me as a memento from the Park has a big Y on the face of it. Scribbled around the edge of the inside are painted phrases of America's First Natl Park, 1872, Let the Spirit Move You, Oldest & Best, America's Finest, Old Faithful with little hearts and bear claws separating the lines...it makes me smile.
Y. Why? The question constantly nudges my soul to ask. Why?
Why did he feel a need to bring us all into his deepest and darkest secrets? Why did he write it? But like any writer will tell you, writing becomes an almost out of body act of expression, allowing words to come from some source (Thank you, God) hidden in the gallows of one's soul, giving birth to an idea, a thought, a feeling, framing a moment of time or a lifetime into words.
We feel better once we put things down in writing; keeping a journal or daily diary has for a long time represented the catharsis of the emotional world, and brings us peace.
It's been said, if you are really angry with someone, or an entire race, write it down and allow yourself to feel it, see it in words, let it have a life on paper...then burn it, quickly. Let it go. Stop holding onto the pain. Let it go. Let a new life unfold and take root.
I'm wondering if that happened with our dear President.
And for that matter, with all African-Americans.
Does America really have to keep holding on to what was never a good thing, was always the wrong way, and has never been okay, standing still as an ugly part of our history? Can we not let it go and start anew?
In order to do that we must make changes to how we think and what we project not only of ourselves, but as an entire country. We cannot succeed holding on to the lack, the separation, the inhumanity, and the loss; we can only move on by thoughts of love, acceptance, trust, togetherness and connection to all those who live and breathe in this great land today. Continuing to point the finger back at past generations to bring guilt into the current realm we only breed more harm; while pointing inward to ourselves and asking the question how can I help transform is more the answer. (oh my gosh, its kind of along the same lines as what Obama said at the UN yesterday, apologizing to the entire world for the cracked up Imperialistic mass of humanity that we are, but that would be getting us off base. Watch part one and find part two...)
From the girl, who also happens to be white, WE CAN teach our children to never forget, but also to forgive and with that make every effort to step forward.
Yes. We can.
I said I would be bringing up my American dog today, I do so with love in my heart. I hesitate in this moment --as I think about it more -- because I don't want this to come off flippant or uncaring to the angst of the conversation we are having today. But I know in my heart we can teach a dog new tricks. And taking it one step further, we can create a whole new breed.
Case in point, my baby BooBoo, the sweet little Boston Terrier that he is has quite a history. Boston's were bred from the English Pit Bull and the English Terrier back in the era of the civil war...1865. Interesting.
I got to thinking about this lovin' spoonful sitting at my feet as an organic example of how starting fresh, planting a new seed and starting a new breed can be for all of us. You see, there was this guy, living in Boston, who wanted to take out the anger of the fighting Pit Bull while keeping the integrity of the soul of his dog; encapsulating all the other natural qualities of size and temperament and appearance he liked; he just wanted to get rid of the anger.
And from his belief and efforts of finding a way to change the pit bull into the happy go lucky, family adoring, blanket loving, gotta-make-it-cozy, little muffin of a dog, the BOSTON TERRIER that we know and love today was born, born in the USA (Springsteen's personal rise from a war torn heart to a rockin daddy).
BooBoo is part black and part white and all 100% AMERICAN. Made in America, by an American, and stands on four paws as testament to our heritage and young commonwealth of the times -- go out and get yourself one today, total happiness guaranteed. (Little secret, if you haven't figured it out already, a click on my "Dear America" will send you straight to a Boston Terrier rescue organization, Boston Buddies. Find them in your own area and find yourself a keeper, all for a good cause!)
This morning, a look at BooBoo is reminding me we are all black and white, the outside is all a facade, for each and every one of us carry the history into our future, a cross we all bear. It is then how we live with each other that will prove our rise or our fall, and tell us if we have what's inside us to rise out of the tomb and resurrect a new America. From dog house to Penthouse, do we have what it takes to reside in glory with one another, in praise of learning something new, or do we resign ourselves in shame, cowering with our tail between our legs?
We have the ability by the Spirit inside us to be lifted up, or hold us hostage to the past, and have a choice to make; while if nothing else, gives us reason to think first ...to think before we 'speak'.
make it a good day, G