“Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony. Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don’t we?” – Paul McCartney from “Tug Of War” project in April, 1982. Guest artist, Stevie Wonder. (Parlophone and Columbia labels)
Did I catch you singing the line? Come on, admit it. Unless you were away from the radio in 1982, you know the giant hooks in this ear-candy song from Sir Paul, with a little help from his friend, Stevie Wonder. Stevie isn’t his friend because Stevie is white or black. Stevie is his friend because Stevie and Paul respect and love one another. Where am I going with that bold statement? Stay with me and allow me to surprise you.
When I started this blog a few short days ago, I swore I would not write about politics, and I will not start today. (There’s plenty out there for your selected pleasure.) So, fear not! No political pundit rhetoric here, but I reserve the right to speak eternal truths. It takes a strong person to read on at this point. Are you up for it?
There was a little boy about three or four years old who lived with his mom and her parents in Greenville, Texas, about an hour east of Dallas. On Saturday mornings, during commercial breaks on Bugs Bunny, his blue eyes grew larger as he found himself peering out the living room French door. For him it was more than a weekend ritual for one reason and one reason only. Usually before lunchtime, an elderly weathered African-American with old hard leather lace-up shoes would walk up the street dragging an old lawnmower. His name was Mr. Amos. (No one really knew if it was his first name or his surname.) He was easy to spot. He had a red rag hanging out the back pocket of his worn-out pants. When the song, “Mr. Bojangles” hit the airwaves in 1971, the lyrics would remind that young kid very much of Mr. Amos from years prior. Unlike Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Amos wasn’t a homeless nomad roaming the country. He lived in the neighborhood, although he was a man of poverty. He took great pride in his work. He would come to the door to let the grandmother of the boy know he was there and ready to get started. He was always welcomed with a smile and a handshake. He was hard-working, kind and honest. Generally, after he wrapped up the front yard, before he made his way to the backyard, the little lad would ask his grandmother for a cold bottle of Dr. Pepper right out of the fridge. She expected the request because she once gave the little munchkin the idea. She would pop the bottle-top open handing him the chilled bottleneck. With an enormous grin on his face that would make a dentist proud, he would run out the door straight up to the sweaty old man and say, “Hi, Mr. Amos! Here’s your Dr. Pepper.” Without hesitation, the elderly man put it to his mouth and pointed the bottom toward the hot sun for a marathon swig. The young boy’s jaw would drop every time as he watched in amazement Mr. Amos chugging down the entire bottle of Dr. Pepper without taking a breath. Afterwards he wiped his mouth on his sleeve, handed the empty bottle back to the tot and say, with a hardy rough voice like Louis Armstrong, “Ahhhhh, that’s my boy!” The boy would giggle and run back inside to hand the empty bottle back to his grandmother. Still in awe he would shout out, “Grandmother, he did it again! He drank the whole thing!” For a brief moment the little one thought it cool that the old wrinkled man felt akin to him. After all, he did say, “MY boy”. There is an uncertainty just how many years went on as Mr. Amos aged, sucking down Dr. Peppers as the growing boy looked on. As always, Mr. Amos would receive a nice sum in cash for his work and off he went to his next yard.
One day, while Mr. Amos was mowing the lawn, his adult son and daughter-in-law suddenly drove up and parked in the driveway. There would be shouting between the old man and his son as if it were an ongoing feud. The boy hurried to the nearest window to hear what he could hear as his grandparents went to the door to see what the disturbance was all about. The young lad heard the son raising his voice about how he shouldn’t be mowing lawns at his age. Mr. Amos pushed back as he defended his valuable work ethic. When the son seemed to come to the end of his case and point, he made a snide comment concerning working for these “white folk” and how he was being “used” by the “white folk”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Amos was respected and appreciated by the family. He did solid work and was paid well for it. Yet, his son was reflecting a racial issue of that time, being in the mid 1960s. I’m sorry to say, he was using the race card to pull him back home, against his will. The grandfather of the house slipped Mr. Amos some cash and told him it would be best to go with his son and work out their differences at home. He was never seen again.
I loved Mr. Amos. Did I know he was black, a different color than me? Sure, I did. In fact, I would intentionally touch or shake his hand just to see if the color would rub off onto mine. He brought me a bit of joy on Saturday mornings. I loved serving him those Dr. Peppers, too. Why? It’s simple. He loved Dr. Pepper and I knew it. I wanted to share something I had that produced a big smile. Although I could see he was a different color than me, it mattered not through my lens of innocence. It was the man I cared for.
A few years later I watched a Star Trek episode in January of 1969 entitled, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”. (Google this one) If you’re a 1960s Star Trek fan, you’ll recall it. Without going into great plot detail, I will give you a snippet of story-line. It had to do with the hatred of two mutually belligerent aliens on a distant planet. They shared the same planet, the same air, but despised one another because they were trained to have disgust for the other from generations gone by. The prejudice manifested itself in mindless violence. The two men were from one species, but from different ethnic bloodlines. The difference? Both were the same at first glance. Half of the face was black, the other half was white. However, one had white skin on the right side while the other man had white skin on the left side. DONE! That’s it! One was subservient to the other because of that tiny, molecular contrast. (You may have noticed, like Rod Serling, often Star Trek’s creator, Gene Roddenberry would carve-out social issues of the day in the scripts.)
Then came my 7th grade year. I was often found in the middle of racially charged fights at my junior high school in Sherman, Texas. Interestingly enough, I was friendly to everyone, but I was white and that made me a target. White attacking black and black attacking white. The national civil rights disputes and riots were still lingering, and busing students for desegregation purposes had begun. That atmosphere was so far removed from my relationship with Mr. Amos. It confused and saddened me. Memories of the verbal battle I heard from my grandparent’s window flooded my mind. The bigotry was a vile hatred that blocked out honor, respect and love.
Fast forward to August 12th, this past Saturday morning in the streets of Charlottesville, VA, once again two factions from the same planet, who could take blood transfusions from one another, replayed the old Star Trek episode in a very real, organized, and damaging slant. You’ve seen the news, I won’t relive it here blow-by-blow. What I will spew out is my “hatred” for the evil that fathers such darkness. Yes, I used the word, “evil”, as if it were a reality, because it is. To neglect its existence is to surely become its constant victim.
No matter if you are black or white, BLM member or card-carrying KKK associate, Jew or Gentile, Christian or Muslim, if you bring a weapon, shield and helmet to a protest rally, you are coming to shed blood. Enough said!
White supremacy doctrine follows the director and producer, the event promoter of such rallies…the ancient Fallen One Himself, the original Divider, a master at the chessboard with humanity as the pawns. It’s not a political movement, or an organization to preserve the history of southern states. It’s hatred 101. It’s putrid sewage stains without true removal. It goes way back to Cain and Abel in Genesis. Neo-Nazis, KKK, Skinheads and the like, are all condemned with a platform of a cursed notion poisoning the very soil of the earth. In fact, the same goes for civil lawlessness, destruction and violence from any race or school of thought.
Yesterday, my daughter decided to educate herself on the white supremacists. She looked up a couple of websites and got an eyeful. The lewdness from their creed describes the degradation of women. She read if a woman can not reproduce, she should be removed and exterminated. Woman was created to serve man and be pregnant, etc. Among other outrageous atrocities, it mentions, “the Jewish problem”.
I always wondered what happened to old Mr. Amos and how much longer he lived. He was a kind soul. I am sure he lived long enough to understand that racism is here to stay, in fact, within his own house. I’m certain with aging eyes he saw racism will not ebb away like erosion because of the so called, “evolution” of humanity. Nor will you.
The one thing the white supremacists were right about. THEY HAVE A JEWISH PROBLEM! THE KING OF THE JEWS WILL BE THEIR ULTIMATE JUDGE! That gives this adopted Jew, fuel for the race.
“Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on His left…” -Jesus, from Matthew 25:32-33 (ESV)