When I was first writing this post, I titled it, “The Death of the American Dream.” Do I believe that? I’m not sure, that depends on definitions. But , I realized, that that’s not what I wanted to write about. It’s no a eulogy that was that goal, but instead the acknowledgment of one particular thing: there is a certain feeling of Death around our country’s current political climate, and that’s disturbing. Why is it disturbing? Because we’re so focused on separations.
Now, I’m not saying that separation isn’t important. Labels and such are important because they speak to our experience. I hate when people say, “I don’t see color,” because that’s a form of racism. Why would someone say to me that they don’t see me as brown? I see me as brown, hell, I LIVE me as brown. I appreciate the effort to not try to discriminate against me, but instead of just assuming that I don’t want you to acknowledge my race as your decision (I mean, a white person doesn’t just SAY to another white person, “I don’t see color,” unless there’s either mention or inference of a person of color), or to do anything else in regards to me, for the matter, without asking me what I want.
We spend so much time traveling in our own minds, thinking we know what’s best (in regards to everything and everyone), we forget that we don’t know everything, and that there’s an entire world out there for us to learn from. Without asking someone, and talking to them, and truly knowing them, there’s no way for us to know what’s best for them. It’s through talking with them, living with them in their experience, and usually also explicitly asking what’s best that we can learn how to begin to help.
Don’t tell me you don’t see color, because I need you to know that my color (brown) is very intimately linked to my experience. And of course, I’m so much more than Brown, I’m also Jesuit Educated, a musician, a college student, a fan of Hip Hop music, a lover of Anime, a former lover of a (partially) white woman, and so so so so so much more. I am so freaking much. But Brown is still a part of that.
When I say we’re focusing too much on separations, I’m saying there’s no balance. We’re not talking enough about what makes us similar. My differences are JUST as important my the similarities to you. Our political climate brings us to focus on how we’re all different, and that separation, without the acknowledgment of our similarities, leads to disparity (and hate).
Our political climate has led to a sort of death.
But in that death, and the anger and confusion, I have found new life.
That new life is in this video.
Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not saying that I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter, but I am interested in his narrative: he’s talking about stuff that no other Presidential political candidate is talking about. He’s moving in a radically different direction, and I want to learn more.
In this video, he talks to Killer Mike, arguably the reigning King of Hip Hop, and half of the internationally renowned duo, Run the Jewels. Killer Mike is running this video, which is one of 6, all of which are worth checking out.
In the death of the current political climate in our country, I’ve found a new life, in the form of a 40 year old rapper for Atlanta and a 75(?) year old Senator from Vermont talking about making genuine connections with people.