When young, still filled with the heat of youth, I thought freedom was squarely squeezed into the palm of my hand. The passion of innocence still gripped my strengthening heart. I felt invincible, in front and in charge of all that occurred around me. No one could beat me down. No one could control or vanquish my expectations. The cage of youth had opened its door and this little parakeet became an eagle.
My army fatigues were simply my bell bottoms in disguise. The world was changing and so was I. In what seemed to be an instant the world stood still. The words “Four Dead in Ohio,” caused me to blink. I stopped, cried, and took two steps back. How can that be? No man or woman wearing the same uniform as me would turn their weapons on a fellow citizen. “Impossible,” I said to no one.
The rifle’s blaze never stopped and to this day nothing has changed. Blacks continue to be unceremoniously brutalized in our streets. The privileged have become more privileged and have not changed their contempt for the commoner. I am a commoner. You are a commoner waiting for the bus of arrogance driven by the ultra rich to give us a lift to success. The bus never stops. It will never stop. It now has become a fleet of buses. Don’t stand in the street with your signs or you’ll end up like Thomas, Abraham, Bobby, Martin, John, George, and Jesus, cheated and misunderstood.
In old age I still feel the warm breezes blowing across my backyard stoop, the breezes of freedom. They whisper to us all amid the depravity and ugliness of humankind. They whisper, “Don’t stop, and never stop.” I will listen until Mother Earth calls me home. She will swallow me but the whispered words of freedom will never stop.