From our vantage point time does seem linear, a straight line moving toward infinite tomorrows. In the meantime, we toil away on our respective paths resolute in the idea that the next hours, minutes, days and years will be better than those that preceded them. According to some, gravity is the only thing that is timeless, existing in a quantum state throughout every moment that ever was or ever will be, simultaneously. Some scientist believe that gravity can even cause time to loop in on itself.
This word describing the force that binds the universe together is also used to describe a certain heaviness or seriousness of a situation. If we had the ability to somehow step outside of our temporal trappings we can see many instances of how gravity has indeed caused time to loop as far as freedom in America is concerned. In this instance, racism is comparable to gravity.
1963, Martin Luther King gave his famous speech against racism and discrimination in the United States. Trump should remember that message.
Gravity increases with respect to the mass of a body in space. The bigger an object, the more it can affect surrounding phenomenon via the ripples it causes throughout existence. Racism was around at the very beginning of America. So its not ridiculous to suppose that the waves of racial hate that are occurring in this country have rippled down through time from the very moment black servants were relegated to slavery in Jamestown, Va.
On August 21, 1831, Nat Turner leads a slave revolt in Virginia that is eventually put down by militia.
On August 28, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was abducted and lynched by two white men for the alleged crime of whistling at a white woman. Many consider this happening the catalyst for the civil rights movement. Eight years later, on the anniversary of Tills death, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before a quarter of a million people in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to give his famous I Have a Dream speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Though the powers that be have somewhat conceded MLKs importance to the very ideal of American freedom, it was only after lengthy discourse that this occurred. Were often taught that time moves forward and that the past remains the past and our positive efforts would manifest themselves down the line for a better tomorrow.
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This was likely the reasoning behind the Supreme Court ordering states to integrate schools with all deliberate speed after ruling separate but equal unconstitutional following Brown vs. Board of Education II. It was likely believed that things would work themselves out with time.
In 2017, we see that certainly isnt the case.
A man whose father was arrested at a KKK riot in his youth is now president of the United States. Since ascending to office, that man has gone out of his way to rescind what little trickle down good was accomplished for the betterment of the downtrodden by the prior administration of Barack Obama, has shown an affinity for white supremacists and had a white nationalist publisher as his leading confidant up until recently. In Charlottesville, a “good old fashioned” race riot occurred yet the president confoundingly blamed “both sides.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said that he had “seen the mountaintop in his speech.” He dreamed of the day that children of all races could join hands in the old negro spiritual and sing the words Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last.
54 years ago on this day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered those words that are still so incredibly important today: I Have a Dream.
Five decades later and society cant seem to find the zenith. It would even appear that we have doubled back down the mountain in the very same footholds that helped us get where we were. The gravity of white supremacy has us stuck in a time loop that sees us revisit battles that our grandparents believed were won 40 years ago. From the strengthening of institutions that further white supremacy to the constant disregard for black life and the low-key but prevalent lie that says were somehow unworthy of being allowed to grow because of ideas that were antiquated from the moment they were conceptualized.