This country, and its beliefs, are split right down the middle. Half of the country views the police, those who have vowed to serve, and protect our communities, as nothing more than socially sanctioned murderers. Others, believe they are simply doing their jobs.
And, if that’s not enough, half of the country believes that the color of a persons skin makes them more, or less, socially acceptable than others, while the other half believes it’s best to simply look the other way.
For me, it’s all so conflicting.
On July 4th, 1976, I remember sitting on the front porch of our family home in Dayton, Ohio, waving sparklers, and tiny American flags, paying homage to the freedoms, and liberties of this country.
“The Spirit of ’76” was the slogan I remember that season. I remember how proud I was to be an American; the importance of being proud. I remember the parades, and the fireworks, and what seeing them made me feel like. And, I remember how all the little kids in the neighborhood would come out dressed, and decorated, in various shades of red, white, and blue.
I loved it!
I thought I would always feel that way. There was no place like the USA. And, I could tell by the way the sky lit up with bursts of light, the BOOM BOOM BOOM of fireworks from street to street, neighborhood to neighborhood, everybody else felt the same way.
I never thought I’d see the country, this country, showing out the way it is now.
*another sip, please?*
I’m not ashamed to admit, I’ve had run ins with the police. A couple of times, I complied with their orders, and short of my own guilt, and anger, everything went over smoothly.
One time though, I was as innocent as a newborn lamb, and they decided to take me to jail anyway, based solely on the fact that I was the one who had any sort of criminal history.
In the back of that police cruiser, I kicked, and screamed, and I cursed the day. The more I writhed around, the tighter the cuffs got. And, that only made me act uglier.
When the officer pulled over the car, I wasn’t even smart enough to get scared. No, I wasn’t drunk, or high off my behind. I was pissed.
But, that officer was not a monster; not to me. He reached down in my purse(he had seen me put my Newport’s in there earlier), told me it was going to be okay while putting one of my squares between my lips, lighting it, and gently saying “Calm down.”
On the flip side, watching the police freely kill on camera, and literally getting away with what I view as murder, it makes me wonder how close I was to death by cop myself, and it makes me extremely grateful that I got away with my life.
Now, on the flip side of that, I cannot help but to think about the face of the entire country right now. No matter which side we sat on, whether democratic, or republican, this country has always given the appearance of class. We were the country to pattern yourselves after; the melting pot of the world.
Our First Ladies looked like they took High Tea, and smelled of Esteé Lauder. On cue, they smiled, and they waved, giving every little girl in the world something besides fairy tales to aspire to.
Actress/Model Vanessa Williams was stripped of her Miss America crown back in the ’80’s because nude photos came to light. No way did our America want to be viewed in that light. Now, we have a First Lady whose nudity is everywhere, and the country is perfectly fine with it?
Really? *sips coffee
Did the thought of the smell of Cocoa Butter being in the White House flip this country on it’s head?
Was having a POTUS with black skin really so bad that it pressured this country into turning away from everything it taught me to believe in?
I have to say, I have a problem with that. And, I don’t know how to feel.
What I do know is this: I am not built for hate. And, I struggle with feeling the same pride that I felt as a child. I want to love, and respect this country that drilled into my head, and my heart that “united we stand, and divided we fall.” The problem is, all I see is our division, and nobody with the feeling of dizziness; sick at the thought of falling.
Until our next cup;