I was doing my makeup like I usually do (just another day), and suddenly I started putting on war paint. I descend from the Zulu Nation, and I have Native-American Indian in my lineage. Never in all my years on this planet (I’m older than half a century), has this urge completely overtaken my hands. My soul. Until now.
We are in a fight for our lives. For our livelihoods. For some, the injustices of the world are esoteric; you know they’re there and that something needs to be done, but have no urgent clarion call to ignite you to action.
I do. I have such a calling. My trumpeted cry is a high-decibel war whoop.
The Zulu word for war is Impi. This battle for survival, for progress, for fairness can’t die and won’t be pacified by insincere, small gestures of support. Everyone must come at this full throttle.
As a black woman who has seen her share of life’s vicissitudes, my anger and disbelief at our collective ennui is no longer on simmer. It is now percolating and overflowing, dripping down the long, painful path of tears, bloodshed, hunger, and injury.
Gone are the days of yore: halcyon days have come to an end for some and never started for most. Like dinosaurs, we humans travel in herds. Destruction by asteroid would be an easy way out. Clearly, our interests are not about the survival of the fabric of America. We are in a very different place; foreigners in our own land, unable to get a good, deep breath of clean air. Unable to get what we want and have what we need. Unable to stop a tsunami of hate and grievance once unimaginable in this era, now commonplace. This is what will destroy us. Our end is a slow grind of civil hostilities and setbacks metastasizing into something even more ugly than the day before.
To right the wrongs of the past is a soup du jour: here today, gone tomorrow. Until those that hold the power and have the deepest pockets pick up the gauntlet, wake up and act, here is where we are and here is where we shall remain. If we can’t be on equal ground, we cannot thrive.
It’s not enough to just dip in a toe. Richard Pryor’s joke “ Damn, that water’s cold… Yeah, and it’s deep too!”, should be everyone’s personal mantra. You must put your private parts in the mix. It’s ok if you get wet. It’s only water.