‘Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor.’
~ Wallace Stevens ~
There is a sickness in the United States; endemic, chronic and defined by actions rather than legalities. Racism is rooted deep within the national character, its origins explained by the basest of human instinct—the need to identify with one’s tribe, family, bloodline— the need for security in ‘sameness’, the need to protect the tribe from others who might take that which has been gathered, hunted or assumed by the dignity of scrum. It doesn’t take a social scientist to explain that we, as a tribal species, haven’t changed that much. We try. There have been huge appreciable gains brought about by heroes and common people; they who refused the threnody of marginalization. All of humanity struggles with nature, nurture, logic and jingoism. Survival is the prime directive when fear entraps the entropic. Daily vicious displays of a bellicose judicial system numb our collective psyche. Objectivity is a learned trait, it delays mere instinct, it fights ignorance with the need to gather knowledge instead of settling for a fresh kill, cultivates understanding instead of territorial boundaries, offers sanctity beyond religiosity. We, as Americans, struggle with the legacy of slavery. Guilt does ugly things to the human psyche— the need for Americans to rationalize or to equivocate in the face of our nation’s embrace of human bondage is formidable—and for many—inescapable. The sins of our forebears rest heavily on our shoulders. Our leaders offer clichés and talking points when only fundamental spiritual transformation, the most difficult of challenges as individuals, is what is necessary in order for our country, our collective tribe, our national identity, to ultimately transmogrify into a truly free society.
Talk is cheap.
In the final analysis—this novel is just a bit of fiction, not a philosophical manifesto. I’m a writer not a pontificate. At best—words as a creative outlet, can influence a reader in positive ways. Words can inform, allude and collide with forgone conclusions. (That—and entertain.) The rest is up to all of you.
Evolution is not painless.
Never take a freedom for granted.