Part 2 The Fix
Today in 2022, Black Americans stand as proof of Martin Luther King’s harvest. But also like martyrs of the past, his death imposed upon us not only a legacy but a perpetuity project. His words and work challenged the United States of America to live up to the liberty it espouses. Even today his outcomes continue to urge it to create a place in its systems and institutions for everyone living in its land, so they too partake of its predestined legacy. America took up Martin’s challenge and broke down many of its racial barriers since his demise. Today an oppressed people’s plight whose foreparents were shipped here in boats is radically changed. And, in many ways, improved. Nonetheless, this century Martin’s leadership and martyrdom place yet another weighty burden upon us as a nation. It may well be his weightiest burden of them all yet. What is his weightiest burden of 2022 and beyond? It is redefining our country without (or apart from) skin color. Identifying an America without the stigma and prohibitions tied to race is the challenge Martin’s triumph left us. Destiny is daring us to fix our history to assure our perpetuity as the land of the free and the home of the brave. The events leading up to this year systematically dismantled the United States forces that mission upon us. We must take up the challenge if we are to survive and rebound from the “racial rollback” greedily devouring what Martin did.
For the record, twenty-first-century racism counterfeits the racism I grew up with; what has black people taking to the streets today is nothing like it. In short, “this ain’t that.” For sure there is much work to be done, but the generation alive today to resolve it is not the one that lived through it. This generation’s racism, as images of street riots show, registers significantly lower on racism’s historical Richter scale. It imaginatively reaches back to bygone times to shrink the gains and strides Martin’s activism captured for us. In response, this generation of Americans should pick up where he left off, not dig up what was buried with him. Contemporary America must find itscolornuity, to establish true race neutrality. The task before it is to reconstruct America’s identity to secure its place in the future. The national rebuild imposed by today’s underhanded racial divide calls for an America that refuses to fall back on its race crutch to identify itself. As such, Black Americans can no longer afford to snub their duty to rescue our land on the ground of their minority status. The battle today is about America without skin color, without race or ethnicity. That is what its destiny is charging this generation to tackle.
As destructive and demolishing the turbulence of the last several years has been, as with every crisis, they present us with opportunities to not just get out of it. But also to annihilate it at the same time. Not by blindly racing back to the old but by confronting and conforming to the age we live in. That approach calls for coming to the table, as thinkers, innovators, and solutionists to face our fallout and heal its effects. Responding the way every intelligent and determined persecuted people did before us is the 2022 and beyond imperative. We have to revisit our destiny, reformulate our boundaries, reconceive our sentiments, and redeploy our patriotic passions. Synthesizing our energies for the renewed national definition of a country founded on race disparity should be priority one. This may seem too fantastic to be possible, but it is our way to recover from all that has befallen us. Then the race baiters that worked so hard to redefine and redesign our nation will fail in their mission.
As you near the end of this article, ask yourself these sobering questions. How would life change for us as Black Americans if we as a people did the impossible and unthinkable, which is to take up Martin’s challenges? How would throwing off our victim stigmas and frustrations benefit us? Would doing just these two things affirm we too are ingrained in America’s purpose? Can we step up as heirs of America’s legacy vital to its predestiny? What if we as Black Americans ourselves destroyed the myths and dishonors that persecute us and contribute to the United States’ redefinition, minus skin or ethnicity or race? Succeeding at such efforts could beat our nation’s adversaries at their own game; because shouldering our part of America’s perpetuity would renew and not merely revive a holistic American spirit. If we as a nation did these things, we would deprive those that hate us and our nation of a far too reliable weapon that has been used to define and divide us for much too long.