*Author’s Note: The following is an unpublished account of my thoughts on May 11, 2020. Uncertainties about the Corona Virus were looming at the time. We had no idea what was to come. We had no crystal ball about the George Floyd murder; of the presidential election outcome; the vaccination; the delusional effect of QAnon; the January 6, 2021 insurrection; unprecedented gun violence; the attack on Asian-Americans, and many other social challenges. But now that we know, what has it taught us and what difference has it made that we can point to? This is my then account:
[Los Angeles, May 11, 2020 – While this COVID-19 pandemic has given us time to stay-at-home; shutting down businesses, schools and other “non-essential” entities; we have an opportunity to reset the scale – to recalibrate!
What really matters now? We’ve enjoyed all the best in entertainment – sports, music, film [you name it] – 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 where we should be going!
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. 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 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 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 at the bottom of the totem pole.]
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In loving memory of Uncle Walter J. Buford; my college friend and brother Robert Gordy Jr; David Ruffin’s daughter Nedra; and Motown producer Ken Sands.
Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based contributing writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” and “Book To The Future” (Amazon); two insightful books that speak to our moral conscience in times like these. Email: [email protected]