Still processing, but now processing with purpose.
The shootings, the communal pain and the political rhetoric in the US, combined with the Nice attack, have left me numb. And helpless. But as of right now, not hopeless.
At least as I'm typing this post. That may change.
One way I temporarily pulled myself up was by an impromptu spread with three questions in mind:
- What do I need to know about my country?
- What do I need to know about my community?
- What do I need to know about myself?
It's not much, but I'm working with what I have.
My country: Four of Machetes (Swords)
A figure is lying in repose on a box (in a standard RWS deck, the figure is on an altar of sorts). Three swords hang above him, while one is below, as if stored away. Rest. Recovery. But not for long. He’s gathering his strength. The war continues.
The social media posts may have dwindled, but not the situation. The Four of Machetes says time to regroup. Take a step back from the rhetoric.
My fellow Americans who are fighting for peace and justice - oxymoronic phrasing I admit - need a game plan.
It’s time to think.
The US needs not only justice for the disenfranchised, but people who are willing to do what they can to make this happen. And that takes strength.
We're needed, so rest up.
My community: The Fool
The Fool signals a beginning. The first steps on a new journey. Potential. Courage. His head is held high as he starts on his path. In his hand, a white rose. Perhaps a nod to his romantic ideals.
He doesn’t have much: a blanket, a knapsack and his dog. But he has what he needs to start. The Fool stands perilously close to the edge. Is he merely looking over? Or is he preparing to jump?
He’s at the crossroads
We are too.
It may sound dramatic, but we - the African American community - have a choice to make. We can play it safe, depending on the “system” (whatever that is), the courts and / or our elected officials to do the right thing. Or, we can "jump" and take another tack. For example, I’m not big believer in the UN anymore, but I give the parents of Michael Brown props for heading to Geneva to ask the body to place pressure on the US government over the death of their son and police killings nationwide. I’m not sure if the plight of African Americans has been on the UN’s radar since Paul Robeson presented a petition to the body in 1951 stating that the US government “violated Article II of the UN Genocide Convention by failing to prevent the lynching of African Americans.”
“We maintain, therefore, that the oppressed Negro citizens of the United States, segregated, discriminated against and long the target of violence, suffer from genocide as the result of the consistent, conscious, unified policies of every branch of government.”
The Fool says we may have to try something new (or new to our generation) to get justice.
Myself: The Sun
A young boy sits on his hobby horse with a beautiful smile spreading across his face. He’s suspended in mid air, holding a glorious pose of victory as the sun looks on from behind.
The Sun card signals accomplishment, power and success among other things. To be honest, I’m not feeling any of these at the moment. Maybe I should look deeper at this card. What else do I see? Light. Shining light. Illuminating everything.
I can’t do much. But what I can do is to be part of the conversation. To use The Internets to keep these issues in someone’s mind. Shine a bright light on the situation whichever way I can.
Which is what I’m trying to do now with this post.
But is it my role? Or our role?
Can we do this together?