Easter is about deliverance at base. And that’s an idea that can be embraced whether or not you share a belief in the specific Christian account. Stories of deliverance are common to all people. They are the pillars of our human hope — that our present difficulty would not last. Our great books and cinema and art reflect the aspiration that we would be free.
For some communities, though, the notion of deliverance has obviously and necessarily been more poignant. Jews, Africans, Palestinians, the Dalit. Their immediate physical condition — as opposed to a conceptual or spiritual or eternal one — begged or begs liberation.
The recent Trayvon Martin incident and Tulsa, Oklahoma shootings remind us of two things at least. We still don’t do race very well. And, we don’t do stories about race very well.
My DJ, Coach K, who in addition to being obnoxious also happens to be black, commented the other day, out of frustration, about the disproportional emphasis on crimes against the black community perpetrated by whites as compared to the coverage of black on black or even black on white violence. All of the violence that pervades our communities matters. But, we’ve arrived in a place where we only feel comfortable talking about some. Blacks fear media profiling and whites fear accusations of racism. And, so both sides, for different reasons, swing focus to alleged white on black crime more easily.
The truth is we really are at a place where both sides want to be cool with each other. But the black community is still sensitive and the white community feels out of place. Like at a Def Jam Comedy show. Or a Dead Prez concert. Nobody can relax.
Race relations and opportunity are profoundly improved. But, for something like 5 or 6 families in Tulsa tonight that’s hard to remember. And, had there been a proverbial ram in the thicket for the lives that were lost and maimed they sure would have preferred it.
I personally ascribe to the notion of a grace and deliverance that is sufficient, even where our physical bodies cannot be delivered or healed. I hope in the comfort of whatever conception of deliverance those families believe, they would find consolation.
Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by djclutch.
Today’s song blog here:Born Sooner