You know, there are things that are true that nobody wants to talk about.
I found myself furious this morning listening to reports about Lindsay Lohan. Someone took a picture of her as she came out of a bar, cigarette in hand, and on the ground. The report said she had apparently fallen.
And I kept thinking, “If she were anyone else…”
Lindsay is using her celebrity and her race to do exactly what she wants. Sorry, it’s true.
While she is awaiting trial, on burglary charges and, I think, violating her parole, she is doing exactly what she wants to do – and kind of daring the world to do or say anything about it.
People of privilege know how to use it, and they do. Think of the men who are police officers but who also beat their wives. They say to them, “Go on, call the police. Nobody will believe you.” Or think of how easy it is for a white person to commit a crime and blame it on a black person, and the world is all to ready and eager to believe the false charges.
If anyone says anything about things that are just, well, wrong, they run the risk of being labelled or using a “card” that is convenient. So, if you don’t like something that a lone Jewish person has done, you run the risk of being called anti-Semitic. If you give commentary on the injustice of this justice system as concerns African Americans, especially black men, you are said to be playing the “race card.” If a man passes over a woman for a promotion because she is truly not qualified, he is a sexist, and if you dislike something that your country is doing, something that is truly wrong, you are called “unpatriotic.”
I am struggling to understand how to cope with what I see. Lindsay Lohan should be in prison. People, especially African American men, are serving life terms for far less; because of mandatory sentencing laws, so many African American men have been ruined for life, and yet, Lindsay runs on.
I have been reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. The content is excellent, though what I am learning is sobering. My walk away or take away is that, in spite of slavery having been outlawed, a slavocracy still exists here in this country, with prisons being the new plantations.
And on the plantations, or getting to the plantations, there is no justice for the poor or for African American men. It is so painful a realization.
I couple that realization with the thought that for many politicians, the fate of “the least of these” is not priority. I do not understand how people can think that big business is better than big government; surely they both share the same berth. The one thing about big business, though, is that it is not concerned with “the least of these.” Business is about making money and profit, on the backs of and at the expense of, “the least of these.”
So, as I watch Lindsay Lohan flitter about, doing what she wants, with chance after chance being given her, and I watch GOP governors and lawmakers push for spending cuts while turning their heads and saying nothing about General Electric not paying a penny of income tax while scores of American people are suffering, I shake my head. I think I understand, but I do not like what I am understanding.
Life “ain’t been no crystal stair,” as poet Langston Hughes wrote. Clearly…and it’s not meant to be.
That is a candid…and painful …observation.