Program Success Magazine October 2020 | Page 2

Remember America ?

I bet you miss her .
Enduring these last four years of hate , ineptitude and chaos has created a new longing for a return to the old America . The next few weeks leading up to the 2020 election will be filled with people who want to go back to the coronavirusfree , more tolerant America that they remember . You probably don ’ t remember her like I do .
When we close our eyes and reminisce , we usually remember the loveliest , loudest parts of a thing like the way you can recall a marvelous trumpet solo and somehow forget the man emptying the spit valve on an unblemished marble floor . Maybe , during the spitting part , you had your eyes closed like a dog hiding beneath the kitchen table on the Fourth of July . After the fireworks , you forget about the scared puppy and only recollect the way America turned the night sky into a birthday cake as the candles sparkled just above your head . Remember that ?
Or , like when your mother told you to run to the mailbox and you wouldn ’ t even have time to put on shoes . And when you hopped off the front porch , you would pause for a moment and scrunch your toes on the lawn before peering into that little box . There was always something important in there .
If you are nostalgic and romantic , you sometimes still think about the cool morning dew on the grass underneath your feet even though it was actually 89 degrees outside at 3:27 in the afternoon when you went to the mailbox , so there definitely wasn ’ t any dew , but sometimes you had to kick the dirt off of your feet because your lawn wasn ’ t that luscious but no one gets wistful about sandy soles or second notices from the power company and , of course , you took the mail for granted because there were hundreds of thousands of invisible , dependable elves faithfully working to make sure the stuff that was supposed to be in your mailbox was always there because this was America , where you never once had to consider that someone would sabotage the goddamned Postal Service so , instead of standing in awe of the Pennysaver that spontaneously manifested itself in your mailbox , you manufacture memories of cool , wet American grass between your toes . I miss that America .
Remember “ We are the ones we ’ ve been waiting for ?” Remember the “ Shining city on a hill ?” Remember “ Ask not what your country can do for you , but what you can do for your country ?” Remember that “ A government of the people , by the people , for the people , shall not perish from the earth ?” Your memory may now be clouded by profane utterances about “ sucker ” soldiers , “ shithole countries ,” and the “ sons of bitches ” in the NFL . But , for a moment , try to remember .
The America I knew didn ’ t lie to us like this new American liar . Remember when she would take an oath to “ support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies , foreign and domestic ; and would bear true faith and allegiance to the same ?” And she would do it “ freely , without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion ; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter .” Oh , if she were alive today ! And damn , was she pretty .
Back then , she didn ’ t have to wear a mask to the supermarket to keep herself from dying , so you could see her face . Every now and then , she would smile at you in the checkout line with all those white , pretty straight teeth beneath that charming button nose .
Of course , you had seen the scars she left on your grandmothers ’ back and knew your granddaddies ’ blood had dried underneath America ’ s perfectly manicured fingernails . But she was cordial and called you “ sweetheart ” and “ baby ” and “ citizen ” and sometimes , when you were starving , she would give you a lollipop , and everyone remembers when she gave you that lollipop and forgets how hungry you were .
I miss how she carried herself with dignity and respect for all the world to see . How she ’ d publicly condemn lynch mobs and terrorism while silently allowing terrorist lynch mobs to terrorize us and lynch us . How she would wash the blood off her palms and lift her torch-holding hands into the birthday sky with a light inviting the poor , huddled masses yearning to breath free . How she had the biggest prison population in the world that was mostly made of poor , huddled masses yearning to breathe free . That is the America we need to get back to .
Remember how she thought it was self-evident that “ all men were created equal ?” Was there ever a single solitary moment in her entire existence when she ever treated “ all men ” equally ? Didn ’ t she say her only goal was a “ more perfect union ” that offered “ liberty and justice for all ?” Remember how she kept getting less perfect as she disbursed justice and liberty at the leisurely pace of a lackadaisical snail ?
This new America doesn ’ t believe in democracy , the Constitution and science like the America I remember . She doesn ’ t even care about the American Dream . But I remember a girl who based everything she did on the genetic inferiority of Black people and the superiority of whiteness . The old-school America denied Black people their humanity , equality and the constitutional right to vote until ... Well , I ’ ll let you know when she stops .