No Turning Back: The Burning Soul of the Nation


PNNscholar1 - Posted on 17 June 2020

The soul of the nation is burning.  The streets are on fire, minds are on fire, hearts are on fire.  For every broken glass there are shattered lives, broken identities, severed connections to ourselves and to others.  The nation is aflame.  The camera is pointed at us.  There is no hiding.  Things are not going to be the same.  John Wayne is not coming on his galloping horse to swoop us up before the credits roll.  There will be no rerun. We cannot afford it.  There will be no return to the old days, our earth mother will see to that.  In the middle of a pandemic, people are putting themselves on the line.  They know what is at stake.  The collective waters are tainted with the violent virus of racism—from Minneapolis to Flint, to Atlanta to Detroit, to the Brazilian rainforest to the Navajo Nation to San Francisco.  The fires have raged inside for too long.  We cannot lie back and breathe easy when black people are stripped of their dignity, attacked, and mocked under the collective knee of indifference, institutional racism, mass incarceration and economic violence.

The soul of the nation is burning—it has always been on fire.  What are the people saying?  What is the world saying?  During this pandemic, the world is healing itself.  Skies once rife with haze and suffocating pollution are now clear.  Our world is breathing in places where it once gasped, choked.  The world–our earth mother–is saying, get your goddamned knee off my neck.  The people are saying likewise.  In this rising up, the people are breathing a collective breath of clarity, seeing and feeling, rejecting indifference and injustice.  What are the people saying?  The earth is listening.  What was Floyd George trying to say?  What do the eyes of Ahmaud Arbery say to you, eyes speak in the absence of breath?

This is a wake-up call, a turning point.  But there will be no turning back. The soul of the nation is on fire.  It is on fire for a new mind, a new way of dealing with one another.  It is on fire to give and not take, for there are those who have taken too much at the expense of those who have given.  It is on fire for a new world because what has been done with the one whose space we occupy cannot be sustained.  The soul of the nation is on fire.  The hatred against its people, its disregard for its people, its mocking of its people cannot be sustained.  This is a turning point.  There is no turning back.  Our mother earth has hit the reset button.  It is telling those in charge that, contrary to what they believe, she’s the one running the show.

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