Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.*
A week ago, like so many others, I was sent into a spin by the jury verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Where was this place called Florida?
Apologizing to each of my grown children for this awful miscarriage of justice, I received these brief email replies:
One: I am so bitter......The Other: It's Florida, not the U.S.
As the week has gone by, the words of African Americans, past and present, remind me. What has happened may not be an American metaphor but a measure of the slow movement of our democracy.
MSNBC made an important decision on Friday night (July 19). The Rachel Maddow show was replaced by a special hour-long discusssion of President Obama's unscripted reaction to the jury's decision.
Hosted by Melissa Harris-Perry and Alex Wagner, with insightful commentary by them and others. (But no video clips.) Invigorating to watch two strong, smart women of color leading the exchange about the importance of the President's remarks in what will happen ahead to possibly right the wrong of the Florida verdict. Many important exchanges about the need to talk about race--by white Americans.
Grateful to MSNBC for organizing quickly to present the program, it's frustrating that no outtakes appear online. MHP did more good work on her Saturday program. Reminded us of the patience needed on expectations of progress...the long arc of the moral universe" was her phrase. Entitled white women like myself, disappointed old lady who has watched the circle of resistance to social justice undo work many of us believed done/completed when we were young. I always need people of color reminding me how long they have waited.
Essayist Tim Wise at one point validated my own inclination to speak often about race within the white community where I live and socialize. The final segment, exchanges among Harris-Perry and a group of black male lawyers and thinkers was put into a hopeful, historical perspective by Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Absent a video of Dr. Muhammad's Saturday remarks on the show, here is a perfect substitute as he speaks about his recent book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. Why have I not read it earlier?
*entire Gwendolyn Brooks poem HERE