Ram in the Thicket

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

3 thoughts on “Ram in the Thicket

  1. Good choice on beats – it matches the tone of the song very well. The subject struck me the past week when my mom was in town for Easter. My mom was saying how it was hard to visit Haiti because her parents raised her to Hate Blacks, telling her unreal stories…I think God provides deliverance but I still see trickles of generational thought that have to be broken. But it is awkward because it’s too intentional and sometimes comes off unauthentic or trying to hard…at least speaking first hand.

    It’s hard for our family too, because I want to be a solution but the churches in our area are all middle class white churches. We are having to intentionally reach out to break the mold. Even many of the corporate jobs I have…Its tragic…but I believe in deliverance!

    Thanks as always for making us stop and think

  2. “We still don’t do race very well. And, we don’t do stories about race very well.”

    So very, very true. This post came at an interesting point for me being that hours before initially reading it I got into a very heavy discussion with a close friend (whom was not black) who had made a statement about wanting to adopt a black child specifically. I mentioned that raising a black child in the country we live in and in the racial/socio political climates would prove challenging for someone who (for lack of a better term) hasn’t had to deal with race much. Suffice to say, opened up one heck of a can of worms, did that conversation…but none more telling than the fact remains, while we all do wanna be cool with one another elements still exist (whether literal or idealogically kept in-play) between races in this country.

    All that said, I’ve found that this (and other terrible acts which happen daily and receive little to no major news coverage) brings out a striking understanding: We are all human beings. That’s our species. So whether we all look the same or come from backgrounds that are gapping divides apart, tragedy, loss, unnecessary acts of violence…these stir up the same responses in all of us.

    And I know its been said before but, perhaps true genuflection on what things we have in common, could allow us to be able to look passed the things we’re told should keep us apart and, instead, bind us to one another.

  3. Tanner, thanks for the personal remarks. Genuine and authentic connection is hard. Good relationship should always arise naturally. That’s why our communities have to do a better job of just doing life together. The other stuff will come.

    Word, Conduct. There’s this really tricky balance between recognizing our commonness and appreciating our differences. Both will be necessary to move ahead.

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