I’d like to revisit the saying I once heard: "Never denounce anyone, never entertain negativity." Perhaps some will recall the speaker (Hint: MMY).
Now I’d like to suggest that some of our (dear) Bernies and some Trump detractors to take a moment to reflect on how they have done in relation to that standard (disclaimer – I’m a guilty party in the latter instance).
Consider what happens to your own world while dwelling on, talking about, researching and then spreading such stories
What you see you become…
My thought is that the only safe area to discuss in this election is stated policy or track record.
Character assassination is still assassination of a sort, and it is a habit of mind that very easily switches from candidate disparagement to interpersonal invective, especially when we drift outside our FB friends to the anonymous mass of friends of friends of friends.
In these few months of weighing in on FB I’ve been called deluded, innocent, blind and an a$&hole. I did get an apology for the latter, but still it is a trend that I think we can avoid.
So, despite the siren call of character questioning on the Trump side (or Hillary, for others), what if we just discuss policy proposals?
When you vote you can let character questions influence all you like, but all of this personal attack appears to be a slippery slope toward haterville, and our best qualities as people, as friends, and as Americans are not on display.
I think that this goes even farther, in terms of another quote by our friend, who said (something like) "countries should compete on the level of giving"
What if we had a new definition of success which was that true wealth was measured not by how much money you make, but by how many other people you empowered to grow toward wealth as well?
What if the political act of the future was to treasure each other as the amazing physiological emotional and spiritual creatures that each of us are?
What if every african american had a white buddy who talked with them and if a policeperson wanted to check in on them they had to contact both parties so there was a sort of sponsor who could express what a treasure the other one is?
As Corey Booker (as I recall) recently said, it’s not enough just to tolerate each other
We need to love and treasure each other
Whenever a black kid or adult or crazy or drunk person is killed because a policeman was in fear or did not have the training or the attitude to initiate nonlethal intervention it is MY brother that falls, that is killed, that is executed, without the benefit of a jury.
The thin line you walk as a black person in terms of personal safety from criminal elements on one side and mistaken identity on another is quite scary.
The face of prejudice means that despite all of your schooling, hopes, hard work, parental advice, personal hygiene, ambitions, dreams, laughter, jokes, tears, homework, and the time you helped Ethel up the stairs, you are no longer all that, you are an alien threat that may be at risk of physical beatings, arrest, or summary execution.
It’s not really safe to be crazy or drunk or emotionally upset, if you are black.
If you are the slightest bit off balance, in public, you are in danger.
It’s all a matter of prejudice
The same goes for police. Ask yourself if you feel safe around a policeperson?
I do, of course, because I approach them as people, wave, say hi, etc. But then i fit a less threatening prejudicial profile.
I have to admit that such a career choice is a bit hard for me to understand since I am not at ALL drawn to confrontation.
But I imagine that it would be a lot harder for someone who elicits instant fear and distrust in a policeperson to just be a pal, say hello, etc.
But that’s what we need – more connection and familiarity with each other
More sense that the policeperson is a human not an adversary, more sense that the black brother is exactly that, someone’s brother, someone’s child, someone’s father, and, in the final reckoning, my brother from another mother.
So, next time you wonder what to think about some brother that you see out doing something unusual on the street, activate my (imaginary) Precious Brother app so that everyone who loves that person can be alerted and can help you deal best with their precious treasure
Or if it’s Antwan Linton Penn, call me, because that is not just a black guy, that is a cultural, interpersonal and cosmic treasure, and wherever he walks, he carries the love of so many people.
As does everyone you meet.
And if they don’t, then it’s the love police that we need, to bring it, reminding us and possibly them of their infinite status and cosmic, enlightened potential as a treasured co-traveller on this fast moving space marble.