As a Christian black man who is a teacher; the last four years have been especially hard. I have seen racism flaunted. I have witnessed the news media attacked for reporting the facts, daily. I witnessed time and time and time and time again the unjustified killings of black people and the killers walked away freely. I have seen the Secretary of Education essentially tell America’s teachers “Go back to school and if you get COVID, then you just deal with it.” I have seen the president use the Bible as nothing more as a prop for one of his disingenuous photo ops. 45 (yes I refuse to use his name) did not create any of the problems that I have mentioned. Racism is as old as humanity itself. Cynics have long denied the existence of factual evidence. Those in higher positions of power have never cared about those who are their subordinates. And of course, religion has been the most popular tool used to further the agendas of people who are wicked.
And then Joe Biden and Kamala Harris came and defeated the incumbent during the 2020 Election. Kamala, former Attorney General and Senator from the state of California, is the first woman, Black, Indian, HBCU grad to become Vice President. While Joe Biden is the oldest president, he also the 12th former VP to become elected to President in our country’s history. Best of all First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, will be the fist teacher to hold such a position within the White House. Seemingly everything that I could want in a replacement for this country I now have.
I have not been shy about the toll 2020 has taken on me mentally and emotionally. I can only see violence, hatred and ignorance for so long before my mind feels as if it is going to shut down. I have been a lot more confrontational about those who justify or celebrate racism and ignorance. I have attacked and berated and degraded people and it makes me feel better. I justify it by saying “they think racism is okay” or “you needed to light their asses up, because you don’t have another choice. Don’t take pity on your oppressors.” But I only find myself stressed out, tired and looking for more fires to start. I won but what was my price? Peace of mind? Clout? My good name?
It just so happened that the night Biden/Harris won, Dave Chappelle was hosting Saturday Night Live. Dave’s opening monologue touched on this and per usual, Dave absolutely hit it on the head:
“…I don’t hate them. I just hate that feeling”
What was more important in that time? Letting the person know I despise them or getting this feeling away from me? Did I really even care about this person? Did I really care about the subject?
Now there’s no question: racism is evil and that will forever be my stance. I will rage against anything that seems to proudly embrace the idea that once race is superior. But why am I consuming myself with the opinions of others who have no bearing on my life at all? Yes, we want a society that is educated and striving for unity, but is it worth burning up my energy and happiness to make this happen? I cannot answer that now, I hopefully will be able to sometime in the future after some reflection.
Until then my friends; there is much work to do.