An Army of Our Dead

No matter where we stand at the end of battles, we will be held in judgment by an army of our dead.

The sinew of justice has met its tensile ends. The commitment to the rule of law has been repeatedly, and irrevocably broken, dismembered. We are experiencing a historic collision of the past, present, and future, all staking their claim on our collective existence.

“I can’t breathe,” were one of the last words George Floyd uttered. It was tragically more profound than he ever could have imagined. The air escapes the lungs, but it is not Mr. Floyd suffering now… It is us. It is the sickening nausea, the mental anguish, the cursing at our savagery. The questions of how, and why have been answered time and time again. This is a known disease, a known curse, yet our best efforts are spent on ignorance and a bile inducing quiet acceptance. There is not a better sentence to frame our country’s consciousness at this time. A country at a loss of ability, at a loss of self, and a loss of the very air our society, and its people must have.

There is no end that justifies this means. There is not a rational, and thoughtful way forward that incorporates this snapshot of loss, anger, and frustration we have today. From the continuing pandemic, to the hyper-partisanship, to the racial, and religious fueled divisions. The economic turmoil that is slowly unfolding beneath the surface, our cities more and more wastelands of homelessness and blight, than of success and progress. This is our best now, this is the best today we could create, it is not a point that we celebrate, or hold proudly, it is a point though, that we simply must change deeply our collective direction. As much as we enter our tomorrow’s with renewed standards for our collective physical health, the same must occur for our societal health, our mental wellbeing. The two must go together as we all face a future that will require much more from every last one of us.

Photo by Sides Imagery from Pexels

The scales of justice have long been grounded by the weight of power, wealth, and a protected class. Leaving the rest to dangle perilously on an ever shrinking disc of rights, the edges gnawed with inequities. That untenable position has tipped now, the weight of a people now moving. We are moving to the weight of change, to the weight of need, to the weight of history. At a definitive pivot point in our history, the question asked “Am I next?” Is one that should reverberate with all of us regardless of race, religion, or status, because it is at the very least a valid one, one that honestly gives pause. It is here that we decide if we are going to come away stronger, and more prepared for more tomorrow’s like this one? Or if we are to succumb to the depths of our ignorance once more, and turn away from the challenges we must face immediately. There is no better time than now when you don’t know if there’s going to be another time at all.

We are not being asked, this is not a question. We have come to the end of the road for the Karma bus, and we have to get out and take our chances. It is not a time to ask what’s next? Rather; What do we do now? This is not something that will go away, be fixed, or rendered unbroken until the actions, the movement, and the justice, match the weight of the people, We. The leadership, and protected classes have abused those very protections, those very precepts of natural law, of the rule of law, and to the freedoms that were fought for, and by right, afforded to all. If the scales of justice do not move, then they can hold no judgement, yet a grain of truth can bring down a mountain. If ever there was a upwelling call for getting our houses in order, I cannot think of a better sign to do so on a bigger scale.

Photo by kat wilcox from Pexels

This is not a call to dismantle what we have, the strides taken cannot be replicated in reverse. This is the preeminent calling of a greater good, a changed manner in which we enter the next iteration, the next chapter that has arrived, whether we are prepared for it or not. The binding principles from our past, the unsteady foundation of our present, and the promises of a brighter future, are our complete inheritance. It leaves by definition a finite accounting, a finite, and ever dwindling inheritance for the future of us. The future cannot rest upon a broken foundation, unkept promises, and the threadbare fabric of a dream. It must be built upon the understanding of the past, the pathways to change that we engage in presently, and the open mindedness of whatever that tomorrow brings. That tomorrow is the young that are marching today, because they don’t know if tomorrow will ever really come.

These pieces of history are not made of foes that can be vanquished with a point of a sword, or the stroke of a pen. The changes we must make are not grand reaches into a new order, but simply a reconnection to the rule of law, the laws we currently have, the justice that is once again brought to blindness. These are the tomorrows we must endure, we must face, and we must allow for truth to win out at the end of the march. As we are cloistered in our communal arrangements, and society itself demands we accept a new reality, we must also incorporate a new mentality. These are the efforts we must engage in as a collective, as a people, and as a country not willing to succumb to our own helplessness. This is the culmination of our success, and the callousness of our indifference, it is a pivot point to defeat, or a reach for survival. As we are judged by an army of our dead.

Photo by Anna-Louise from Pexels

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