Sleep With One Eye Open: We'd Better Get It Together...
by Nadra Enzi
I'm not a flagwaver nor a flagburner.
While I consider it simply a peice of cloth, I'm more interested in the body of ideas behind it and at work in our society, i.e the Federalist Papers, the Emancipation Proclaimation, various amendments, etc . I rarely agree with US foreign policy but I'm always among the first to preach preparedness and civil defense. Since I was born here, I have a vested interest in this nation's wellbeing.
The invasion of Iraq isn't particularly popular among many African-Americans. As usual, there is a disconnect between the way we and Whites view issues.
Many of us feel this is an attempt by the Administration to do something tangible, since pursuing Al Queda and its allies is a lengthy process often producing alerts based on information later disproven and punctuated by long months without headline-making arrests. Some of us feel this invasion is part of a Bush family manifest destiny to complete a task (toppling Saddam Hussein) left unfinished by the President's father.
Regardless of the racial divide on this and other matters, we all find ourselves facing adversaries who aren't color coding their assaults. Unless this happens soon, to date, African-Americans haven't been spared because of our turbulent relationship with American Whites. Despite our marginal role in the policies which have enraged Islamists, we are not exempted when they bring the proverbial pain.
When I think about the terrified face of the Army sister who is now an Iraqi POW, the bitter irony is nearly painful. Black women have recieved little from society and now, as service members, they are making the ultimate sacrifice.
This commentary takes on a seesaw dimension because there are things about America that I resent and resist, namely ever-evolving Jim Crow consciousness at work in the private sector and in the government.
But, as I said before, I was born here. Unlike some in the Vietnam era, I'm not tucking my tail between my legs and running for Canada. Muhammad Ali showed me as a child that a fully functioning Black person must stand up as a citizen, face his detractors, wrestle with what comes and STILL work to provide safety and access to people of good will.
I choose to work to provide safety and access instead of aid and comfort to those who would impose yet another degrading species of Jim Crow upon my community. While we and White people sometimes do not see eye to eye, in the fight unfolding around us, neither group can afford not to be blind to the threats at large.
So, whether you are a dove, a hawk or some other ideological bird, recognize that somebody is trying to smash our nest- uptown, downtown, the 'Hood, the 'Burbs, etc. and that's the conclusion on which we need to focus.
If we don't get it together on this one, we may all "get got" together!