*When and how world-class athlete Kobe Bryant died in January, set the tone for things to come in this year 2020. It was a perfect storm of events to follow – COVID-19, the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (among others), global protests, wildfires burning up the west coast, massive flooding on the east, and no decisive/definitive leadership from the White House – has left us all in a lurch.
While this COVID-19 pandemic has given us time to stay-at-home; shutting down businesses, schools and other “non-essential” entities; we’ve had an opportunity to reset the scale – to recalibrate!
What really matters now? We’ve enjoyed all the best in entertainment – sports, music, film, fashion etc. – and here we are now chomping at the bit to get back to where we were, when we should be looking at where we are and how we should be going forward!
What can we do now as the world economy has come to a screeching halt, to engage in God’s economy? What can we do now to bring it back better? That business model that we all complained about; the systemic injustices; the inequities – all the things that we’d like reformed are now glaringly on the table.
Do we see people taking advantage of the advantage at hand? No! People still want to go to the beach; to party, to shake their butts on the internet and all other kinds of foolishness. From whence comes this spirit of defiance? At least wear a mask as prescribed by the professionals!
Black folks in particular need to wake up and shake up one another – stop making excuses – and stop reinforcing what Hollywood and the media have decidedly defined us to be. We are not buffoons (with some exception) trying to fit in and be accepted. No amount of money nor fame can bring about the dignity that we deserve just as any other race or ethnicity on this planet.
Remember the “bra-burning” era of the 1960’s? It was a women’s rights party, but when the party was over, white women went home to stability; black women went home to chaos because they did not come out of the same stability from the start.
Fast-forward to today – same thing – we’re out there partying and trying to do what white folks are doing when we should be trying to get some basic things at home in order. This is not just a racial issue, but more a character issue and a historical fact that keeps us as a people, at the bottom of the totem pole.
If we do nothing else for the balance of this historical, game-changing year, in honor of the fallen – Kobe, the victims of COVID-19, victims of police brutality, victims of natural disasters and essential workers – let us re-examine ourselves and reassess what really matters. And by all means, let’s get out and VOTE (thank you Congressman John Lewis for your service!) – purposefully and meaningfully!!
Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based contributor. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” and “Book To The Future” (Amazon). Email: LBuford8101@hotmail.com