Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The End of Blackness

I went into into the grocery store last week and cherries cost $6.99 lb. I wish all of Amerika would wake up to the fact that the things that threaten our survival are color blind. Soon we may all lose the ability to feed, clothe and keep ourselves warm.

On the way home the other night, I talked with one of my co-workers behind the counter. I like this second job not so much for the money, even though it's nice, I like talking to people. J told me that her step father spends most of his pay trying to satisfy debts he accumulated from a business he no longer owns. "When we buy food, we can't get gas. When we buy gas, we can't buy food." I stared at her in disbelief and realized she was shivering. It was 26 degrees outside and she does not have a coat. The things she says to me about her 'home' life are surreal. I want to believe she's exaggerating. But there is no denying, she was standing in the cold without a coat and each night, she devours food like a starving refugee because the only time she eats is when she comes to work. She also told me, her family has been without hot water for two years. She's 17, with no high school diploma, a history of mental illness and she has a baby. Maybe I covered some of that on this blog already. When I try to give her advice my words fall like water on glass. They seem to wash over her but never sink in. I offered her a coat but she equates help as a handout that would make her feel even worse about herself. Go figure. I'm good at coming up with solutions to other people's problems but J perplexes me. Somehow, I know she's only part of the problem in that house. The adults who live there are probably much more confused and dysfunctional. I keep asking myself, how do people get like that.
Then I think about the cherries and how easy it is to fall behind and give up. That's the real threat; that many of us will just give up and fall for some well financed politician who promises to fix everything for us. We are the only ones who can fix what is wrong with Amerika and we'd better wake up to that fact soon or we may experience some of the worse chapters in history repeating themselves in the land of the free and home of the brave.
Many people in this country used to think that the biggest threat to their way of life was having a black family move into the neighborhood. Now, many of those people are wondering how to keep their houses from foreclosure.
That's how I see it y'all....if anybody's listening....Peace