We Still Have a Race to Run

RubyFrom the front porch of Mother Ruby Sales. This is the sequel to yesterday’s clarion call to young people. This was originally posted to social media on February 2, 2020.

As remnants and elders we still
have a race to run and a role to play.
Heed the call.

Earlier this week I wrote a post to my younger friends reminding them of their responsibility as new generations of leaders. I reminded them that it is now up to them to use the fluency of their bodies and minds to push us beyond where previous generations took us. Now they are the ones under the light of historical scrutiny. I hope that they realize that the glare can both blind and clarify at the same time.

This morning I want to speak to my peers. We stand in a generational circle of remnants. We are endowed with the blessings of longevity saturated with holistic sight which enables us to see close up, near and far away–hindsight, insight and foresight.

As our bodies wind down, our sight expands. Much of what we saw in life we finally understand. We bring to the table of life the advantage of fluidity and a grasp of the insidious tricks and patterns of behavior of the White men in leadership.

We understand that they rule by binding our hearts, minds and bodies to the illusion of their power, honor and generosity . At the same time, they trick us into believing in our powerlessness, dishonor and needy dependence on them and their handouts.

However as remnants, we know their moves because we experienced, observed and often outwitted them by taking careful notes of their tactics.

We also read books that exposed them and helped us remember our defeats and victories–our hills and valleys. We took our knowledge and experiences and developed a socio spiritual freedom praxis which we brilliantly used to defeat them without firing a shot in a non-violent movement. We made the walls of segregation tumble down, and we saw the White rulers lure us back to them with their death driven praxis that erased their heinous crimes . We saw them revise history and turn themselves into benevolent benefactors of the new rights that we won on the southern battlefield.

Some of us watched with horror and grief at how quickly many of us forgot why we had faced death and deprivation during the movement. Instead, we greedily supped at their table gobbling up the same food that we had once refused to eat. We gave over generations to the care of guardians of Whiteness who chipped away at their audacity, selfhood and spirits.

And because of our confusion, there grew up a generation and their children who do not know us and who we do not know. We walk past each other in a socio-spiritual wilderness barren of intimacy, trust, caring and compassion. Instead we see each other through jaundiced eyes infected with the debris of Whiteness.

For too many years we watched helplessly at the sight of our children and many of our peers tumble and fall back into worshiping false gods at a altar of whiteness that we mistakenly prepared for them or which we gave them the tools to build. Out there away from us but believing that they were living into the dream, they became bedazzled by Empire credentials and things and insisted that their community call them by their titles or know them by their possessions.

Yet many of us kept the faith and pressed onward with the memory of courageous ordinary people and a community of our peers inspiring us forward. We remembered how they kept their eyes on the prize despite White men in power who maliciously unleashed all of the weapons in their arsenal against them.

Although the terrain was lonely, difficult and often rocky, some of us walked forward with the light of freedom as our north star . We refused to forget what we left behind and what we faced and what it all means for the future.

Our bodies show signs of wear because we have walked many miles and fought many Empire wars. But our journey has not broken our spirits and resolve. Our understanding of the gravity of the actions and intentions of the guardians reaffirm that our work is not complete. To the contrary we have one more race to run , and it is as probably one of the culmination of all of our runs. We are seasoned runners who know where to watch for the holes. Therefore our younger companions need for us to be as wise as doves and as stealth as as serpents in an age of the blustering storms of a White Christian elitist and heterosexist militarized technocracy with untold powers to do harm and to destroy.

The guardians of Whiteness revel in the power with the arrogant belief that they are unstoppable and above the universal laws of morality and human constraints. They flaunt their contempt of us by refusing to hold each other and Trump accountable for their systemic socio spiritual and political assaults against us. Their arrogant and willful belief in their invisibility leads them to believe that they are smart , and we are stupid. They forget that there exists among them remnants who are not beguiled by their posturing or seduced by their trinkets. There is very little that they have to offer or what we want on this part of our journey.This race tests our resilience and resistance and it is a test to see if we have the faith and courage to run free of empire weight with a lightness of being. We have unburdened ourselves of the fear of death because we have before us the promise of eternity as ancestors.

My friends, we must not and cannot squander our sacred position as remnants. Destiny calls on us once again. This time not as young warriors but as a seasoned community of a mighty cloud of grey haired witnesses. We are called to humbly and lovingly share with our younger companions what we have learned and what they will need in their backpacks for their survival in these dangerous times and even deadlier ones in their future. Ours is not a call to sentimental love fueled by guilt. Rather the time calls for an exacting and expectant love that urges them to prepare for the days ahead with courage and wining strategies of resistance and affirmation.

Finally we must go before the nation as moral witnesses who unveil the inferiority beneath the bluster and strutting of the guardians of Whiteness. We know from experience that we possess a soul force more powerful than their weapons.

Once again, God has placed us in a strategic position in a critical time of hope and despair. However this time we not only walk by faith but we run this race with a backpack filled with knowledge and tools gained from being survivors of the constantWhite war of rage and systemic assaults designed to break us into bits of ourselves. We survived with a reasonable portion of our minds and bodies in tact. We are called upon to use them in the service of God’s people–our neighbors and family, Are you ready to run this lap? I am. I hope you are too. If you are let us act as a fearless council of active elders who puts our heads and hearts together to convene a national congregation who courageously charts a strategy for the race that draws on all of what we earned from previous ones. Help organize the first council of elders of all social locations putting our hearts. resources and minds together to assist in the formation of a new generation of freedom up-builders as well as prepare for an important stand for justice.

Who will call together the relay team? Who will coach and who will show up for practice? Let me hear you say here I am ready to heed the call.

One thought on “We Still Have a Race to Run

  1. Oscar (Oz) Cole-Arnal

    Dear Bold & Prophetic Sister Ruby,

    In the profoundly powerful movie “Just Mercy”, which my wife Bonnie, dear friend Paul and his adult daughter saw last week, I felt exceedingly ashamed of my white skin color. Please, dear sister mentor, do not take this as a breast-beating cheap repentance, but rather as yet another means for that marvelous Latin-American liberation theological call for lives of “ACTION–Reflection–ACTION. In my case that means 78 years of living which I am now gathering into MEMOIRS for my children & friends, but as I’m discovering more a personal examination of a life-lived. At age 16 I had a personal “born-again” experience of God’s radical grace, having become captured heart & soul with that relentless love embodied by Christ, who forgives & accepts us fully & unequivocally without any merit on our part. Yet, growing up in a Western-Pennsylvania steel worker town, I had only a superficial view of racism–racists were those who called African Americans “niggers.” I never used that hateful word & even had a “Negro” friend. Zears Miles Jr. (“Z”) by name. It took an incident in our Junior High School Year, which brought me face-to-face with my own unacknowledged racism. With the passage of time I discovered and dumped personal & previously undiscovered racist elements, a life-long reality for this WASP academic

    In my first pastorate near Midland, PA, it took the martyr’s blood of Martin Luther King on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel (April 4, 1968) to turn my life topsy-turvey & drive me to my knees with the promise to never again be silent when faced with racism, what today we call “Whiteness.” So I both rejoice in these last 2/3 of my life for having crossed the line to the radical, joyous, fearful, painful justice walk for which Dr. King gave his life. Yes, I’ve stumbled, but people like you, dear sister, have held me up. You have described me to a “T” in this entry–my boldness and dedication, as well as my slithering back to that privilege of “Whiteness.” In this especially profound piece you have not only revitalized my 50+ journey of justice when I am complacent & inclined to sit on my butt. Thank you for being the living agent of God’s call to this old white fart & for sending me out to the streets with my Parkinson’s walker. And thank you & your porch for being a living altar of our common BLACK MESSIAH.

    Always, Oz

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