By AM Novoa
“Can’t we all just get along?” Rodney King asked in horror of all that had occurred that week. Despite everything, face bloodied and bruised, he was conscious of the ensuing insanity that had overtaken a city by storm and he called it out.
He called it.
Did anyone hear him?
Yes, I had that question too Mr. King.
I still have it.
You are now liberated from your body, as you were sadly unable to conquer your demons, but I remember that week very clearly and I shall never forget you.
I had just had our baby you see Mr. King and what should have been the beginning of a beautiful future for him and our little family increasingly appeared in my 22 year old mind to be teetering on disaster. It sure looked bad and I was afraid and confused Mr. King. I had a front row seat recovering from a c-section in my shabby little apartment. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be….
I didn’t have hate towards anyone.
I still don’t.
I couldn’t be angry at you or anyone. I was tired and sore from surgery and trying to figure out how to be a mom. That in itself was overwhelming to me. I wasn’t trying to oppress anyone. I didn’t have a political opinion or even a political party. Nothing but survival was on my mind.
I was just a girl with a baby and a husband trying to make ends meet in an unforgiving, unfeeling, hard, cold city we could barely afford to live in.
Most of us are just that.
We are just people trying to keep our heads above water in a society that moves along with its ebbs and flows never taking most of us into account. We try to set forth on a journey without being entirely clear about the destination, doing the best we know how. We don’t notice much. We don’t have that luxury. We are just trying to live and that takes all we have. That is all it was. That is all that it is for most of us. So I sat there alone in the dark, the TV flickering having watched Reginald Denney’s head being crushed on live TV, with my baby in my arms, looking down at him and I thought to myself…..
“What is wrong with us?” No, not “what is wrong with a political party, a race, a religion, a culture or a country”?! “Us, human beings, what is wrong with all of us?” I said out loud to myself and my sleeping son. Because you see, whether you like it or not, we are in this together and whether you like it or not, everyone is right and everyone is wrong to some degree. All of us just see in part. No one is really better than anyone else even though most entertain that grandiose illusion to some degree.
The question remains….do we really have to win at all costs? Have you considered the cost?
Martin Luther King said “we must learn to live as brothers or perish as fools. “
Another King called it.
Oh Father that they would be one as you and I are one…..Someone once pleaded!
“One” is what the best of us is. But we are far from that aren’t we Mr. King?
Can anyone listen, reason and try to understand one another? Or will it remain an unending game of back and forth insults, name calling, accusations, victims and “victimizers” and the like. Incensed when loosing and gloating when victorious and both equally unbecoming. It’s small. Violence, fear and despicable acts abound once again. This isn’t getting us anywhere Mr. King. I know you understand, now at least. Reaction, reacting and reacting again. Why do we do the same things continually expecting a different result?
Rodney, you asked such a good question. Probably the best I have ever heard.
Do you not see the destruction?
You saw it, didn’t you Rodney? And in the end you couldn’t live with it. It overtook you. I am sorry for that. All that you could have ever been never was.
Someone is winning and it isn’t any of us. Get that? The joke is on us….all of us.
We have been manipulated and toyed with for a “story”. The truth is boring you see. Figures, facts and numbers don’t thrill us. They count on our emotional reaction. They count on us craving it. In time we do. We simply can’t take our eyes off a good train wreck. It’s worse than any addiction and it marginalizes people and divides us. It sells papers and gets hits and that keeps “it” going. It is a sickness and we are all the carriers.
So here we are again. Captive to fear and it’s bringing out the worst in us. It is the worst of us. All of us.
Somewhere there is a girl with a baby and she is watching you. Only now, instead of the flickering TV displaying the horror in the night and rather than the grey matter of Reginold Denny’s brain spilled on the Los Angeles streets, she is seeing the contents of your heart spilled all over this monstrosity called social media. She is young, barely making ends meet and she just wants to live her life and try like hell to figure out how to be a mom. Or maybe she just wants to be able to pay the rent or afford enough groceries to feed herself this week. Can’t you be better for her? Can’t you be better for him? Can’t you be better for you?
We ARE so much better than this….together.