November 30, 2014

Juxtapositions

I don't know about you, but I'm still reading and listening to commentary and news about Ferguson and all that we must now associate with that word, which used to be meaningful (from my point of reference) as the last name of long-time family friends. I'm sure some have given up already, out of frustration or agreement or because it's NIMBY (not in my backyard) or because they simply can't stand it anymore.

'It' is a combination of love and loss, hope and hatred, desire and despair, wistfulness and willfulness, optimism and pessimism, and countless other juxtapositions.

Much of what I'm seeing in traditional media are the 'haves' (privileged white folks) talking about the 'have nots' (folks who live in Fergusons large and small, where police over-reaction, racism, brutality, and lack of respect for blacks is at least perceived, if not actually happening.)

The haves are giving us the message we are supposed to hear, that we deserve to hear - that racism is alive and well in America in 2014, and that the deck is stacked against blacks, because of our education system, our economic system, our culture, and our collective upbringing that over-privileges whites at every turn and disadvantages blacks at each of those same turns.

The irony should not be lost on us, that people making millions of dollars a year reading the news are lecturing us on the great divide between white and black at the hands of, well, at the hands of rich white people. They might be right, but as prime examples of the very privilege they lament, they could sure be less smug about things and give us a little less hand-wringing, a little less head-shaking, a little less guilt-ridden narrative, a little less editorializing.

I'm suspect I'm not alone in thinking that it won't be long before the millionaires who swept in to Ferguson will be packing up and leaving town and we won't hear so much anymore about it, because the next Hannah Graham is out there, we all just know she is.