If a tree falls in the middle of the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? I am sure most of you have been given that question to ponder at some point in your life development. That same thought process can be applied, in my humble opinion, to the goings-on today. Of course! The answer is “YES!” We have seen and heard enough trees falling to KNOW it makes a sound! However, we are constantly, through broadcast and print media, and the ever growing social media landscape, told what we are seeing (even though we know) and how we should be reacting to it. It seems much of what we see today is spun so many different ways and clouded with so many other falling trees that we forget those that we’ve seen only days ago!
How many stories and trends have we seen just this year alone, that are barely even spoken about any more? Does it mean they’re no longer happening, or are those who control the narrative changing it to keep us distracted and emotionally vulnerable? Take “police brutality and Black Lives Matter.” Wasn’t it just several months ago it seemed like every two days, a video of an unarmed black man or woman was making the social media circuit because they were being allegedly (I use that word for legal protection), brutalized by police? BLM reps were all over TV, promoting their next protest. Where did that go? I assure you, it’s still happening! Police are still getting paid leave and ultimate acquittals for misuse of their authority vs unarmed African Americans and others.
In addition, black people are still getting unfair prison sentences for drug use and possession, while others are slapped on the wrist or embraced because they need “healing.” THE OTHER TREES: We were told by certain right-wing pundits that BLM was the trouble makers! In fact, every random act of violence perpetrated by a black person within 250 miles of any BLM protest was often connected to the organization! “Huh?” Many whites and certain blacks they could find, appeared on TV and radio railing against this group for its stance on this “non-existent racism”…all a figment of their and our imagination. Finally, we heard the old narrative of many: that we (blacks) deserve this police treatment because our ‘violent nature’ needs to be monitored and controlled. Are BLM members less committed because they are no longer in the headlines?
WE HAVE HEARD THIS TREE FALL MANY TIMES! In the meantime, we have a President that is behaving more like the dictators and regimes he denounces, and because he represents the preservation of ‘whiteness’ we are told that we are not seeing what we’ve seen and heard with our own eyes and ears! BUT NO! THE TREE DIDN’T FALL, “THAT WAY!”: Remember, “Mexico will pay for the wall.” “We will impose a ban on Muslims entering our borders.” (Except those in countries I have personal business interests in.) “My administration has had no contact with the Russian government.” “There’s blame (for a racist white hate group’s march) to go on all sides.” Nope. None of that happened. Except, IT DID!
The list of news headlines surrounding this presidency is mind-blowing! This administration is about one thing, as an article in “The Nation “says, “From health care and tax policy to environmental protections, this will undoubtedly be a government of the looters, by the looters, and for the looters, and a Congress of the same.” (Tom Engelhardt / The Nation/ February 2017 / “All those Donald Trump headlines are distracting you from the really scary news.”) This dude has filled cabinet posts with multi-millionaires and billionaires! But you weren’t there, and people who warn you that policies of this regime favor the super rich are attacked by this administration as infidels! They say, “We’re making the country great! Just like back in the good ole days!”
THIS TREE WAS CHOPPED DOWN: NFL player Colin Kaepernick peacefully protested police brutality and was “unofficially” banned from the league because of it! History tells us this usually happens when one person (black sports figure) decides to take a controversial political stand. BUT HE ISN’T UMEMPLOYED BECAUSE OF THAT: They say, “He no longer has the skill set we desire in the NFL.”
DEFINITIONS ARE CREATED ON THE SPOT!: The white men that have entered night clubs, schools, and checked into a Vegas hotel to snipe dozens of innocent concert-goers, AREN’T DOMESTIC TERRORISTS! They are mentally disturbed, and we are told instead to fear the man or woman next to us on the plane because he/she is wearing a turban.
Opiate addiction is a ‘crisis’ now that many whites are succumbing to it and its life-taking power! But blacks and Latinos have the illicit drug-use problems ruining our nation, because that’s just our inclination and our element, according to many!
TODAY’S (Dec 6, 2017) FALLING TREES: Men are running, and resigning in droves because of alleged sexual misconduct wielded while holding powerful positions in Hollywood, government and elsewhere. Women are stepping up and speaking out after decades of suffering in this socio-political climate! I guess Bill Cosby wasn’t the first one! I guarantee, before the end of 2017, something else will be brought to our attention, and these multiple claims and resignations of accused men will be gone with the wind!
So with all this apparent turmoil, what do we do, as African Americans, with ourselves, families and communities: We have to stay focused! Trees are falling, whether you hear them or not! Which ones might impact YOU? If the answer is “none,” don’t sweat it! Most of these things don’t really affect our condition one way or the other, but to see people wail on social media, you would think some of this stuff is life and death! So keep your goals! Stay on your path! Don’t be distracted! Disconnect from all of this social media and the constant bombardment with news of what’s being taken! (At least do it once in awhile.) Tax Bills that favor wealthy, corporate interests are passed at 3 am, whether you want them to be or not. The President is going to tweet something outlandish! Okay! What can you really do to stop him from provoking Korea? What can you personally do to insure his impeachment? I guess you can write or call your congressman or Rep. But do they really represent you? Instead, let’s continue to strive as black people in America: for personal growth and development, education, entrepreneurship, professionalism, tireless work-ethic, and lay a solid foundation for our young people to follow, emotionally, physically, economically, spiritually and soulfully.
Oh yes! It is war out here! Trees are falling everywhere! But you’re not supposed to notice until the tree falls on YOU! I wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous holiday season.
Bro Eric Clemons