Double Bind

I recently read Ron Chernow’s brilliant and comprehensive biography of Alexander Hamilton. I was struck that from the earliest moments of the creation of the United States throughout the years that followed leading up to the Civil War that the nascent nation struggled, at first to be formed and then to stay whole, solely around the issue of slavery.  Northerners repeatedly made concessions to the slave owning Southerners, such as the creation of the Electoral College that granted a disproportionate amount of power to the smaller slave holding states, in order to create and maintain this nation of states.  A hundred years after the Civil War, after suffering decades of lynchings, torture, political disenfranchisement and extreme poverty, black Americans marched for the equality that was promised them only to have their leader and eloquent spokesperson gunned down.  After centuries of inhumane treatment that most white people could not have survived, they took to the street to give voice to their pain and frustration and to demand the right to vote and to be treated equally.  For years the Civil Rights movement was peaceful and respectful, but with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, the pent up frustration came to a boil and erupted into violence. Many whites viewed this a justification for further violence against our black citizens.  Sadly over fifty years later, we watch as white men perpetrate unthinkable violence onto black men and women in a manner that one would not even use on a rabid dog charging them.  As black leaders cajole the protestors to be peaceful, outside agitators, many of whom have been identified as white nationalist, propagate violence and the destruction of property, fueling the calls by national leaders to squash the protestors.

What we are witnessing is the classic example of a double bind where we assassinate innocent people for a look an officer does not like, create as many road blocks as possible for people of color to vote and become adequately educated and then come down on them with brutal force when they protest how they are treated. This is sadistic and cruel beyond measure. It is time for white people of faith and conscious to say enough is enough.  From the inception of our country, we have allowed white nationalists to have oversized power and voice in the governing of our country and in promoting fear and hatred while wrapping themselves in the flag and in a faith whose God surely shudders at their actions and hate speech.

We are at a time of great transformation on the planet.  Many hope and long to live in a world in which people are judged by the measure of their heart and character and not by the color of their skin.  Where all people, regardless of their faith, race, gender, sexual orientation or economic status are treated with respect and kindness. 

Spirit come, bring us peace,

Help us live as one

 Help us know that we’re all the same

  And in our hearts are one

Ann Drake, author of The Energetic Dimension: Understanding Our Karmic, Ancestral and Cultural Imprints and Healing of the Soul:  Shamanism and Psyche.