This past Saturday was one of those unusually warm, late November days in Little Rock. I felt a strong urge to get out of the house. I would imagine you can identify, since you’ve probably been trying your best to stay away from the Coronavirus, too. I just needed some time out to breath fresh air. So, I decided to let the top down on my toy that I keep in the garage and take a ride down to the 7th Street murals to look at the artwork that has taken over the place. The murals are on the walls of 7th street under the train-track overpass.
The area has had smidgens of graffiti on the walls for a few years that have probably meant more to the graffiti artists responsible for putting them there than anyone else. Since the recent incidents of police killings of young Black folk, protests in the streets for justice and peace, and the crazed political environment we currently find ourselves there has been a rapid growth of socially conscience artwork applied to the walls. Progressive minded people have felt a need to express themselves, using this public venue. The overpass is a few blocks west of the state capitol grounds, making an interesting juxtaposition for the artwork to occupy.
While viewing the artwork and snapping a few pictures, I noticed a couple of artists there applying their skills to the walls. With mask on and social distancing operational, I stopped to engage in a brief conversation with each. Both artists seemed to be folk of good character, troubled by all the social, political, and cultural conflicts that have troubled our society over that last four years. Of course, they both realize that what we’ve seen during this time hasn’t been a recent development, but a burgeoning of symptoms manifested from a disease that has lied dormant for decades.
As I left the overpass, I decided to drive by the capitol grounds. The overpass is at the bottom of a hill that rises to several acres of more level land where the state capital building, the state justice building, the state revenue office, and other stately looking buildings are located. As I approached the top of the hill, I quickly noticed a four-wheel-drive pickup truck coming towards me, with American flags and Confederate flags flapping in the wind. A glance to my left revealed several vehicles arrayed in similar fashion parked on one of the large parking lots. There were also signs which clearly indicated why these folks were there. These Trump supporters were making it known that they don’t agree with the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election. They obviously believed all the unfounded conspiracy theories that have been put forth by the Trump administration of how the election has been manipulated in favor of the Biden gang. I thought for a second about parking across the street to take a few pictures. My good sense quickly told me that that was a bad idea. My electronic version of the Sunday morning edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, our state’s daily newspaper, confirmed what I saw on this fine, autumnal day.
With all the bad stuff 2020 has visited upon our country, wouldn’t working together to bring about healing be a better kind of drama?
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.