I was going good there for awhile, writing to be fighting the quarantine blues like Cuchulain fighting the sea. And like that Irish mythic figure, the waves eventually overwhelmed me; the isolation of quarantine, the strain of lifestyle swept away, the crushing reality of such vast numbers suffering far worse, and so much death, while too many positions of power and trust were filled by empty vessels when leadership was so needed.
If I’m being truly honest, it was being forced to teach from a distance that stopped the blog. For twenty-nine years my day job succeeded to whatever extent it did by my ability to stand among students, look them in the eye, and pay them the respect of sharing whatever honesty and truth I have picked up along the way. Suddenly, like all teachers, I was teaching through a screen to too many black squares with white letters in place of living, breathing wonders.
The pandemic robbed teaching of its humanity. The effort to overcome that cavernous hole drained me of the energy I had for communicating like this.
For that failing, I apologize.
And so much has changed since last we spoke. America watched one too many murders of color and might finally be ready to learn and accept the fact that black lives matter. It is heartbreaking that it has taken over 400 years for one distant relative to recognize another and if people of color find it in their hearts to accept our late arrival to humanity after centuries of atrocious behavior, it will demonstrate a grace powerful enough to reshape the world.
But the truth is, the work isn’t theirs to do. The paler part of this race has been horrendous to every other expression of humanity. I am still not convinced that we know what we don’t know yet.
How many more, Lord? How many until we see each other as we’re meant to be seen? How long until we learn we need each other to survive our global shortcomings?
The clock’s ticking on all of this. We need to listen and learn and see and accept and act as one human race. Not others. Not superior vs inferior or hunters vs prey or overlords vs the rest.
“We’re one but we’re not the same, We get to carry each other, carry each other. One.”
People of color have been carrying the burden of our shortcomings for too long. We need to be better, far better, humans than we have ever been before.
Let’s get to work.