it is morning and a sea of people gather where so much has passed, so many feet have trampled, tears have been shed and are being shed now. Carts pulled by horses, then horsepower fueled cars then skateboards then Rollerblades then kids on wheeled shoes then back to the feet of people, seas of people walking slowly plagued by the volume of others, feet moving slowly from cold, from the heaviness of emotion from the pace of change.
but this change came rapidly in comparison to the change of other movement. In one newscasters adult life, from not being able to eat a hamburger on this street to honoring a new leader of his same station and race. this change has not taken long in comparison to change reluctant to occur in foreign lands or change yet to occur in my bigoted neighbors hearts. relatively rapidly AMERICA as a country has been able to change. it has been quick in the grand scheme of history. quick but not easy. nothing great ever is.
i watch the sea of people and wonder will all of this brotherhood, this inspired solidarity change quicker that it arrived? sometimes the brightest stars fade the fastest. I wonder will the people ho live the thug life with the excuse that there is no other way out of their predicament find new excuses to lead a crime/grime/saggy jeans life or be inspired to don a suit and a book bag filled with potential. i wonder will one mis–step set us back 60 years. i wonder will the children that are buried in that sea of people go back home and insist on a better life for themselves, their Friends, their families, their world.
Will it fade when they realize our new administration does not mean free gas and free rides but will mean that all people are called to hard work equally. there is no free lunch, the status quo for all stereotypes must change. The gang banger, the Ebonics, the bigots, the slacker, the whiner, the free-loader, the separatists…it all has to change it all has to grow and work and struggle and shed the ignorance that has been so comfortable for so long.
politicians are politicians and well spoken ones have not much more real power to change than those with a twang. But what i really hope will change is that the people in the next neighborhood over, and in the slums and the un-titled Mercedes benz’s will now be called to do more with their lives than perpetuate a culture of violence on their own neighbors, that little kids will see a black president as a better goals than that of a rapper or fast dime street hustler. that now there will seem to be a reward to hard work rather than use lack of black heroes as an excuse to continue a viscous cycle of black on black violence, drug culture and ignorance.
my hope is that every black child can get rid of the excuse can stand up to their peers and theirs teachers and say that anything is possible and i am not going to settle for the stereotype that my community has allowed to exist.
my hope is that this president’s real change will be in changing stereotypes that keep us all separate, that keep the notions of “us” and “them” that keep neighborhood lines drawn tightly between black ones and white ones, that make black kids say that their peers who speak clearly are “talking white”–ridiculous—my prayer is that change trickles down to everyone. My husband, my friends, the kids i pass on my way to work, the teachers, the employers, the co-workers, the grocery store workers, that change allows us all to up our game and rid ourselves of “us” and “them”.
we’ll just have to see….