By Hakim Abdul-Ali
The entire earth’s a place of perpetual learning for the aware among us, and I most definitely can attest to that. Take last week, for example, when I was in a local area mall that I learned another valuable lesson in the living process.
It was quite an experience, filling my mind with joy and uplift. The lesson was an enthralling one because I saw two teenagers, one Euro-American and the other an African-American, engaged in conversation, complete with the typical youthful banter and excitement that symbolizes being young.
They were having a marvelous time that was indicative of two friendly souls who were much into one another’s vibes. As I observed more closely, this situation wasn’t so much of an oddity, except that they seemed spontaneously to harmonically parrot and mimic each other’s actions.
I couldn’t help but politely ask them if they knew each other because they were having so much fun together, and they appeared to be very close buddies. Upon hearing my question, they both responded, almost in unison, that they were each other’s best friends, and they’ve been that way since they were little kids. That comment had me thinking.
Their relationship impressed me even more so when they both said that they would do anything for the other because they were like twins by different parents. This striking remark stunned me somewhat, but, somehow, I began to look at them as role models for what I believe the utopian America should be like in so many unwritten national descriptions and diverse norms of congenialities.
Seeing these two diverse examples exhibiting such mutual respectful love towards each other taught me a lasting thing or two last week in that crowded mall. It was like an invigorating lightbulb that went off right before my very eyes and mind, and I’m glad that it did because it’s now inspiring me to write this particular “As I See It” article.
Those wonderful young folk of color taught me that “The Color of Love” is not about skin shade or even one’s ethnicity. They epitomized (to me) that it’s about dealing with and viewing every created being in creation as a bonafide member of the extended larger “hue-man” family, something that many biased, confused and sectarian folk in our nation still don’t comprehend because hidden racism and clandestine injustice still does exist on a sizable scale in our nation.
If you’ve been reading my columns over the last thirty plus years, you probably know my candid and frank views, thoughts and opinions very well about the nature of discriminations and fanaticisms in all of its demented and ugly dimensions. Sadly, our politically and racially divided nation, “his-storically” speaking, has a complex, ignorant linkage towards, and in regards to, religious intolerances, alt-right racism and social indifferences, etc., that’s hard to deny, especially when it comes to certain ethnic folk of color.
I come from the lineage of one of those oppressed groupings, who are labeled as Afro-Americans, and I see what the scars of oppression and the pangs of discrimination has systematically done to my own culture. In some other circles of ethnic life in this potentially great nation-to-be, many undocumented, depressed sectors of underprivileged America still live in and under a racially oppressive apartheid type existence. Think of the indigenous American Indians. Hmm!
Maybe, with that sense of ever-present awareness constantly in my head and psyche, and after seeing those two young Americans, one so-called Black and the other so-called White, I was humbled to see them as something special. Those two folk shared the natural warmth of feeling good about each other, with such admiration and respect, that it led me to think about that I needed to write “The Color of Love” today for all of us.
I felt that I had to because I know, and I want you to know also, that there are some truly beautiful and genuine Americans, of all backgrounds, who love and respect each other, regardless of what their ethnicities are or what their religious inclinations may be. In my opinion, these individuals shape and define what “The Color of Love” is really all about in the beautiful America dream.
I love my country, and I wish you could have seen those two young Americans behaving as they did with a total oblivious concern as to what others in that mall were thinking or feeling about them. They let me know, in no uncertain terms, that they respected, cared for and truly loved each other as God Alone created “hue-mans,” no matter what. That’s what America “should” be like!
To those young folk’s credit, they reminded me, this older soul born in Harlem during the ’40s, of how beautiful, and real, “The Color of Love” is, can and should be. They showed me in an instant that their love for each other as Americans is an “in the moment” shared happening, and not a desired thing to only dream of, if you catch where I’m coming from.
“The Color of Love” for all ethnic Americans is what I’m writing on now, but believe me, I’m inferring that it’s an envisioned reality of mine for the entire globe that can change the course of anyone’s nature, if we only practiced what we peacefully desire for ourselves and, hopefully, what we also want peacefully for others. The love for all concept is the art of respecting, sharing and caring equally for every “hue-man” soul in creation, and not just for those who are in our immediate spheres of adorations.
And I make no public refrains for stating what I’ve just voiced. Listen, if we are to believe in what’s written in the Constitutional decrees that all people are created equal, then let’s get busy and exemplify that aphorism by practicing what we positively should be showcasing within our own selves and practicing same towards others.
Those two young Americans at the mall, again, taught me that loving one’s self, and others, is not a lost art, and I thank them both, in absentia, for reaffirming that great “hue-man” spiritual standard in my heart and mind. I needed that. Their apparent, solid friendship obviously must have been and is based on real tendencies of caring, with an extreme dose of qualified love for each other and not on skin hues or ethnicities. They are blessed in so many ways to know what love is. Do you?
Those youthful Americans by sharing good feelings towards one another let me know that America’s future is in good hands, so-to-speak, because many of today’s young folk could care one rusty penny about the partisan prejudices that so many political and bigoted prehistoric icons of yesteryear set forth. These young folk are going to make a difference now and forever into the future because they are breaking down the barriers that kept this country separate and unequal for centuries. May God Alone be with them.
I, for one, salute all the impartial, young and open-minded Americans, in every nook and cranny of the bald eagle’s terrain, from the East to the West, for trying to make this world a better habitat for everyone to reside in. “The Color of Love” is omnipresent in today’s youthful American melting pot, “As I See It,” and it’s also a wondrous sight to behold when I see that so many of these young folks now, respectfully, embellish objective, even-handed itineraries with equitable positions on equal rights with justice for all. It’s a new day happening on many fronts.
In conclusion, I’d like to inform you that the great dancer and choreographer Judith Jamison once said, “We can go on talking about racism and who treated whom badly, but what are you going to do about it? Are you going to wallow in that, or are you going to create your own agenda.”
There’s a profound and distinct message in Sistah Judith’s words, so please don’t miss what she’s saying to one and all.
It certainly has made me think as I recall the examples of mutual love and shared respect displayed by those teenagers towards one another in the mall, without a hint of racism or bigotry in their souls. To that point, I’m forever reminded that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said that “Racism is a sickness until death.”
My late mother, a renowned and much-revered schoolteacher, used to always preach to me about one of her favorite quotes, or sayings, from the legendary scientist Dr. George Washington Carver. She would never let me forget that Dr. Carver said, “When our thoughts—which bring actions—are filled with hate against anyone, Negro or White, we are in a living hell. That is as real as hell ever will be.”
Many of the youth of today may not know of, or reflect, upon the words of Ms. Jamison or Drs. King and Carver, but there’s redemptive guidance from their wisdom, if you will, again, dare to choose to learn something from the elders’ wisdom. I do, and I trust that you do also, because the reality of today is that our country, and the rest of the world for that matter, can’t survive too much longer where ignorances, hatreds, bigotries, intolerances, racism and discriminations abound. Think about it.
Universal love and respect for all of the Most High Alone’s creations is where it’s at, no matter what creed you have or hue you may be. I got that message loud and clear from those two dynamic young citizens’ personas at the mall.
So, I salute them because they taught me, or, at least, brought me back to, a reflective understanding of what “The Color of Love” is all about.
Remember that God Alone is the Creator Alone of everyone’s hue and everything else. For today and always, I wish you love and, that’s, “As I See It.”