I’m not reminiscing about a past television comedy show, even though there is so much that gave us pause to laugh about.
About that week: Can you say Donald Trump? Except it is no laughing matter that there are so many people polling in agreement with him. Donald Trump has added his voice to a growing, not-so-silent minority which is beginning to celebrate and act out on a false sense of strength built on his vitriol against the largest minority of immigrants in this county: Mexicans.
Only in America.
Almost immediate backlash: corporate disengagement; mounting calls for a boycott of all things labeled ‘Trump’; and a loud public outcry.
But, only in America can Donald Trump be considered seriously about- well, anything. Considered to be a successful businessman- by the bottom-line definition, there are many who are prepared to question his well-documented questionable financial dealings: his bankruptcies, his litigations, et al.
I am not so quick to dismiss his candidacy. Witness his rise in the polls. This train has pulled out of the station and is gathering momentum. Everyone loves a train wreck and Trump offers us a multi-car pile-up.
To wit; a public lynch mob, aka the KKK, feeling empowered, has decided to march in public.
Ostensibly, their assembly is to protest the growing national movement against flying the confederate flag in public spaces, but I’ll bet their rhetoric will allude to the recent Supreme Court ruling in support of marriage equality. After all, the Supreme Court ruling is being challenged as a violation of States’ rights by Alabama and Texas (others?)
Only in America.
Also, that week raised other matters for a few who feel that this country, their country, is being taken from them. For example, rights to purchase and publicly carry guns remains another hot button issue. That issue is too hot to handle in one breath. Besides, it is right there in the constitution. Isn’t it?
My positon is unwavering; I do not support the interpretation of the second amendment that goes beyond the intent that might call me (if I were a man) to join a state sponsored militia to defend against a declared enemy (in that case, at that time, it was Great Britain); thereby giving me the right to own and carry
a gun. Hell no! I won’t go.
The debate will continue to rage across the country until, until…….
And, in that week, after delivering the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the Emmanuel Nine who was gunned down by a deranged person, Barack Obama, President of the United States, became the chief preacher; singing for God’s amazing grace.
But what God? Oh right. There is only one God. Amen.
I’m the first one to stand by the US Constitution- as it is being amended. I am not naïve. I understand and accept that the founding fathers were who they were: they voted their self-interests. They were land owners. Some were slave holders. They were misogynistic ( did that word exist in the 1700?). They were Christians (or non- believers); and they were anti-rule by the British crown.
Time and place are important.
This experiment in our so-called democracy is still very young. And the shift in our population demographics has drifted way beyond the imaginings of the founding fathers.
Today, we are not a white nation of Christian men running away from religious and economic persecution as so many of the staunch defenders of the Constitution, as it was written, want to attest. In fact, the drift has been so vast and constant, that acts of Congress, and rulings by the Supreme Court to catch up are never-ending.
And, please don’t forget that the shape of this country changed primarily as the result of the inclusion of black people, who were born here, as full citizens. We were, by an amendment to The Constitution, given equal rights. That has propelled the ongoing decree of those rights to everyone else: women; gays; differently abled, et al.
But back to the week that was.
In that week, the media, and others, expressed surprise and incredulity when, almost to a person, the families of the Emmanuel Nine responded with forgiveness and calls for love over hate. Many persons did not ‘get it.’
Not me. I have often cited that it is in the very DNA of black folk to be magnanimous. We have been bred to practice large acts of forgiveness since the 1600s. And if we did not, where on earth would you be?
Only in America.
Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org