Facebook and Twitter Posts keep me informed. Unlike the little challenged Main St. local and national news, there are many voices. During the year they varied, became morose, battle scenes, rants then cheerleaders slip in their philosophical cheers for the day. Some are eternally happy, living in clouds. Their feet never touch the ground. We have the merchants, buy me or you will never know where it’s at. A popup IM. “Are you all right?” “How’s your day going?” “We are sisters.” “We are one.” Some send flowers and stolen memes. “Sent from the iPhone of…” Even more distant are the “I am beautiful.” “She is beautiful.” “LMAO” and the infamous “LOL.”
Twitter condenses life into 140 characters. It gives you just enough space to get to the point. Black Twitter and it’s coalescing body, Blavity has found a home at the Los Angeles Times news desk. Someone is paid to read your thoughts and track the wave a Blackness storming the globe. They are mostly young and eager to tell the world where we are at. Most interesting are the trolls that attach themselves to the #BlackTwitter hashtag simply to peek at the dang Black upstarts. Remember, if they are angry you must be doing something right.
Election year “I am running for…” Trump boasts that he paid little in advertisement. Everyone in their weakest moment gasped at his barbs, posted them in succession along with video footage of his latest interview. “Mr. Trump, would you explain …” We sit on a perch waiting for the next go round of a news cycle.
Bernie Sanders proved to me that “it’s not the dog in the fight; it’s the fight in the dog.” Lately, he asked for and raised $2,000,000 in small campaign contributions from the masses in two days. And he is still humble enough to hug Hilary Clinton. That might the reason. Another charming quality about Bernie is that when confronted by Black Lives Matter and the racial equality agenda, he didn’t do as most politicians. He didn’t lock his jaw, roll his eyes, clutch the pearls, and ignore. Bernie took note, if only in rhetoric. But rhetoric has proven to matter also.
Local politics was profane in 2015. We saw familiar faces and blood-soaked fingers pat ringwormed heads, curled their lips, and chided activists’ bad behavior. One NY politician chose to ignore. Why is that profane to me? It reminds me of the Liberal and Black politicians that can only tell the Black community all of the world’s problems are that I don’t vote. Not toxic site dumping in poor and minority neighborhoods, large and small producers spewing toxins into the air to ramp up climate change, not education disparities and marginalization, not even that they are worthless beings and don’t give a damn as long as they have a job until the next election cycle. Check history. If Blacks vote too much, “conservatives” (Oh my god, that word) burn the town down. I do vote, by the way.
I never thought “outsiders” would become the dirtiest word amid the flames of protest. But it was. One woman stood amidst a burning city and a neatly drawn chalk line to proclaim they had never had a problem in their town until outsiders infiltrated their ranks. It was clear that she was the one that posted the “Bless this house” meme that went across the country more than 60,000 times.
My timeline oozed Black historical figures and Black achievements. The greatest achievement this year, however, was the realization that despite all of the blood shed for the cause, there is still much blood left to go around. Most of it, no one will notice. They are all scrapbooking the black and white photos of those they will never emulate; pretending ties to philosophy righteousness has long put to rest. I’m waiting to see what else is contrived for Black History Month this February. Danielle Colin’s beautiful, “Dreaming in Kreyol” sits on my nightstand. I wonder how many centuries will go by before I see an academic critique. Will her photo be in color?
The most interesting are the young traversing grounds they swear are new and innovative. I once asked a woman sitting still, drinking, and smiling through her 40’s with years of destruction around her how she can do such a thing. “I’ve done all that before,” was her answer. 20 years later, I understand. That is why she sits.
Photos… oh they are called selfies now. This is my moratorium to what you missed. I read articles that claim people who post selfies are narcissistic. I think selfies tell the world how much they are missed. How small we feel in vast spaces, even in our own bathrooms. Not everyone smiles. The fearful ones sometimes but mostly never smile. The haughty contort their faces in some kind of grotesque pout mimicking their last black and white photo in the scrapbook. Still, the most grotesque are withered beings covered in masquerade hats and feathers. They try to bring it back. But bring what back? We will never know.
Videos are more time consuming but are the most revealing. The Walmart and WorldStar are the best. The police shootings informative. The baby in the cage – the worst. You might have a better take on this, but for me watching modern America go up in flames as the displaced find our borders for refuge is historic. The only difference between then and now is video. Hang a bulb on the tree and call it done.
This holiday season… Should I say holiday? Are you offended? Should I be specific, exclusive – pick my side in the war of holidays this year? Can’t I just sing because I am happy? Or do I have to choose a happiness – a mirror of yours? Ok then… I choose Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and all of the many visions of celebration the world has to offer tied in a pink and yellow box with black ribbon. I am sending it out to all of you without exclusion, discrimination, history, or -ism. This is how we prove to ourselves that we are still human – above the beast. Convention, stability in an unstable world. So preserve some of your humanity in a tree, a candle, a bowl of fruit. It makes no difference to the lion, the mouse, the elephant, the spider – they are all assured in their civility and grandeur without symbols.