The year was 2014. Sounds of J. Cole permeated the light, yet crisp morning air, performing an impromptu duet with the melodious crooning of a bird sitting outside of my window. It was a welcomed change from the bellowing of cadence and the blaring of reveille; a soundtrack beautiful in its own unique way, for it solidified the fact that I was here in the present; the absolute; the now. But there was another change for which I was longing – one that no amount of music could provide. I was leaving America. For good.
I was retired now. Traveling as a United States Marine for a portion of my 20 years of military service proved to be a learning experience for me and a great influence to pursue a life outside of the norm. If I chose not to limit my mind, my mind would reciprocate the favor to me in the form of cultural as well as intellectual gratification. I am reminded of James Baldwin, one of my favorite authors, leaving the United States to pursue happiness abroad. He eventually returned to America from Paris but not after having experienced a life of enjoyment in a country that was not his own. You see, Baldwin made it a point to bring up the fact that the injustice and discrimination (in all forms) that defined America was a detriment to not only the recipient of those wrongs but to the perpetrator, as well. Such treatment of its citizens should be beyond a nation who calls herself the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Alas, it was not. That was then, this is now.
And we still face many of the same problems.
When the anticipation of writing a blog started to become a reality, my mind began to traverse numerous ideas that would serve as fodder to captivate an intellectual audience. What would be the best way to convey my strong opinions on matters in regard to race relations in America, racism, police brutality, discrimination and the continuing injustices that define our nation at this moment? Though I am living outside of the Divided States, I am still attached; still connected; still feeling the pain that my people feel in the land of my birth.
Then the thought:
There is too much transpiring for me to be silent. It is time.
The year is 2018…