At What Point Are We People
It is all too much.
Most of the time I keep my head down, blissfully, intentionally unaware of the News.
But it has all become too much.
A man was shot in Tulsa. A bomb went off in NYC. Refugees were likened to poisoned candy.
I have been listening to the soundtrack of Hamilton for the last year, and it strikes me that King George may have had a point. After America win independence, he asks, "What comes next?" America had to decide what to do next. I think we still are. What kind of nation will we be?
Super power or just nation?
So far, the answer isn't flattering. Laine and I are reading about American history, and he keeps asking the question, "Are we the good guys?"
I am not sure we know yet.
We are a nation trying to live into an identity of being the promised land. Come to America! You can be anything!
But we have no history to stand on. When our land was wrested from its inhabitants we erased our history. We are not a people from a place. We are invaders from somewhere else. It would seem that that would serve as a equalizer. We are all immigrants. But it doesn't. We are a nation acting on the instinct that overtakes children when a piñata breaks.
Last Sunday, we were coming home from church and Laine noticed that our neighbors' cars weren't in the driveway. He panicked. He pushed himself off the seat, craning over my shoulder to see, "Mom, they moved."
Now, we had seen this family less than twelve hours earlier, their cars had been there before church, there was no rational reason to think they had moved. So I asked.
And he answered.
"If Donald Trump is elected, they will have to leave America because they have brown skin."
If you want to know the truth of who we are, ask a child. If you think racism has been solved, ask the parents of dark skinned boys what they worry about at night. If you want to know why someone who is fabulously unfit for public office won a party nomination, ask the people who were pushed aside under the piñata and came up empty handed while another's pockets bulged.
And once we ask, we should listen.
Listening is just about the only thing that is going to heal us.