Invigorated with Wonder
There is no way to sugar coat how the last twelve months have made me feel about being part of these United States. I understand two party realities but I don’t understand the hatred I’ve seen being delivered by a percentage of our population.
We can disagree on abortion, economic issues, tax cuts, spending cuts, health care but when it comes to outright hate for people because of color or religion I just don’t get it.
I never have.
As I watched the Nazi’s march on TV this past summer in Charlottesville, nausea was the overwhelming feeling that struck and stayed with me. I know only a small percentage of Americans felt this way but the fact that in 2017 any percent felt this way just left me with the idea that the human race will never be able to overcome its own insecurities and that the future would continue to repeat historical horrors.
We all have different perspectives, but from my own perspective, many of my early heroes were people of color and that has continued as I age into pointlessness. I can’t imagine a life for me that didn’t include those of non-Christian faith and people of color.
One of my greatest heroes has always been Stevie Wonder. I was lucky enough to see Stevie Wonder at the Coliseum back when Roman Gabriel was still the Los Angeles Ram QB. That was before Talking Book and Innervisions. It was a fun show and has its own story, but this story is not about that. I was lucky enough to get tickets to his show this past Sunday. It is the 21st year that Stevie Wonder has done his “House Full of Toys” show. Stevie is all about love, having written some of the greatest love songs of any generation. But I’m not about love, my cup of tea is the gritty Living for the City. It rang true in 1973 and it still rings true today. I know how easy my life was because of my color. I worked hard, but I got in the door because of the color of my eyes. Many never get in that door.
I don’t have a bucket list but if I did have one, hearing Stevie Wonder do Living for the City would have been on the list, and I would have crossed that off this past Sunday at Staples. I can’t express the joy I felt when he broke into that song, and let me tell you, he owned that song. No going through the motions. I would have felt worse if he had half-hearted the song, but he put his full emotional payload into it and gave me a moment in my life I’ll never forget. If you can’t leave a Stevie Wonder concert without feeling uplifted you are simply to far gone.
And man did I need to be uplifted.
Tonight was another shot in the arm. Sports bloggers aren’t supposed to talk about politics but politics today are bigger than sports. I never felt that Roy Moore could be defeated but everyone worked hard for a goal that seemed foolhardy to even consider. Those people who never gave up, those are heroes. From several thousand miles away I just have thanks for Doug Jones running a classy campaign, for not giving up on the Alabama conscience, for the endless hours’ volunteers put in to help Don Quixote slay the demon, the #meetoo movement for putting a light on a subject that had been hidden in the basement for most of human recorded history. It is going to take a lot of baby steps to defeat the monster at our doorstep, but this was a big baby step.
I’m going to bed tonight with a slice of hope for our own national conscience.