How could I dispute his claim. I too have walked that road. It wasn’t pleasant. Instead of arguing with him, I embraced his claim. I shared my story. I encouraged him to prove them wrong. I explained that we have a responsibility to ourselves to reject their projection. We have a responsibility to ourselves to succeed in spite of their prediction. They made the rules. We will fight their rules. We will claim what is ours! We will rule instead.
It is likely that by the end of this story, we will coexist. But not until there is a shift in power. Not until we have made the same mistake (unfortunately). And not until we know the responsibility of carrying society. Not until they’ve experienced our pain. My hope is that it will not take four hundred years for us to recognize that the burden of power has a price tag far too high. That power will corrupt us too (absolutely). Are we no wiser? Can we not learn from their mistake? Can we learn before it’s too late? We waited too long to cry “racist!” They see it coming and are already prepared to fight for what they perceive is theirs–what was always theirs. We’re losing!” they claim. Well, who’s winning?
The face of America is changing. It’s not at all how we predicted. We’ve been wrong so many times, and yet we insist on being right this time. If ignorance is bliss, are we living in a state of constant euphoria? It’s been suggested that to move ahead, we must look back to where we’ve been. It’s not a good look. It’s not getting any better either. If the future is an arrival on this road we’re traveling now, we may have already experienced the best that society has to offer. Not to put too fine a point on it, we’re fucked!
Not because of the face of change, but because of what was lost in the struggle. We fought for the wrong thing. What we have won is the prize that we currently have–a culture of misfits. We are free now. Free from what? Tyranny? Free from oppression? Do we now posses a freedom to act? To react? Overact? Fact? Fiction? Where are we???
We are in a new state of consciousness. Taking a positive position, we have arrived at a place in time that allows us to reflect and predict simultaneously. We don’t like what we see, and our predictions are vague. We reserve the right to change our destiny. Like so many science fiction tales that warn of mankind’s demise if we do not change course, we are on the cusp of greatness. Our ability to communicate is paramount and on par with our willingness to share ideas. Yes, we are on the cusp of greatness. And we are about to fall off the edge…
The story of racism has now transformed itself into yet another rant of where we are as a nation. My student’s claim is no less important than my own realization that a role reversal has occurred. The teacher has become the student. He doesn’t need me to educate him on the principals of “us verses them.” His experience is no more limited than my own. They ARE us. The shift occurred, but the condition has not changed. Human suffering is human suffering. When we become them, there will still be suffering. Meanwhile, instead of becoming wiser, we are becoming resilient.