Eight days ago, something happened in our country that was not foretold. It was an occurrence tantamount to a 7.0 quake on the Richter Scale. None of the smarter-than-though political prophets had gotten it right. I, along with many Americans, had come to believe the outcome of the presidential election would be the opposite of what happened. One could be philosophical about the event, but there is a time and place for philosophy. I’m not so sure applying philosophical musings to the 2016 presidential election is appropriate.
Now that the dramatic moment has passed, the nation is dealing with the aftermath. There have been signs around the lower forty-eight, indicating that we’re in for a long, troublesome ride. Middle school students are praising the virtues of whiteness, the KKK is behaving as if their long-awaited Messiah has ascended from hades, progressive-minded folks are marching in the streets, and there are undoubtedly other just-under-the surface signs of social unrest brewing that we’ll see surface before too long. We’re in the third millennium, and one would think that we would have gotten better than this. Yes, one would, but one would have been a cave dweller with her head buried deep under the sand to think so naively.
I’m a denizen of Facebook, Twitter and the collective social media universe. Since retiring almost three years ago, I have come to find a sense of belonging and comfort in cyberspace. This realm has much to offer a retired person, who has a chronic illness. There are websites with like-minded people, who are willing to share their life’s experiences. Oftentimes these experiences are like mine, and you find myself connecting spiritually with people from around the world. Since retiring, I have found myself writing more, thinking more and finding opportunities to open my mind up more to a diverse collection of souls. Since November 8, my experiences in cyberspace have been altered somewhat.
This morning, when the screen to my laptop came to life, I saw a picture of some black figures being burned in effigy. A good-hearted Facebook friend of mine saw it as his duty to share this image. He wanted to make the point that this type of hate-laced activity is on the rise in our country, our America. Over the last week, I’ve been seeing more of these types of postings on Facebook and Twitter. These kinds of stories are also being presented by the legitimate news outlets too. The five-o’clock news programs are peppered with stories of racial epithets scrawled across areas where the intended are certain to read them. The “deplorables” (no need to be political correct) of our society feel embolden to freely express the darkness they think can now be released from the sewer filled cauldrons of their small minds.
My preference at this point in our country’s history would be to not see any of the signs of disunity that have been unleashed. In my never-never-land dream, I would much rather see bands of people, all hues and mindsets, holding hands and singing Kumbaya in the streets. Unfortunately, dreams aren’t always the stuff of which reality is made. It would be good if realty was composed of all peoples of our nation reaching a point of mental balance where liberty and justice for all was the mantra for everything we (all) do. I don’t expect to see that during my lifetime; however, for now, I would like to see fewer images of hate on social media. Call me an escapist if you will. That’s alright. I don’t think I must see snakes in a dark, damp cave when I know they’re there.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.