The Yellow Brick Road

Slogans, Monuments & Movements, Oh My!

“We . . . want it now, and if it makes money now, it’s a good idea. But . . . if the things we’re doing are going to mess up the future, it wasn’t a good idea. Don’t deal on the moment. Take the long-term look at things.”

The Dust Bowl

Dealing on the Moment is All America Does

Arrival makes you think

And that’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Their efforts to develop a conduit of communication is in striking contrast to how we talk to each other today. With the word “HUMAN” written on a whiteboard, they were able to build on that by seeing patterns in indecipherable symbols.

We have the most sophisticated communication tools in history — and we can’t even talk to each other in the same language.

Instead of listening and learning — slinging snippets of certitude has become America’s pastime. We’ve created a knee-jerk nation where discernment is derided and negligence is in vogue. What was beyond the pale in the past is now perfectly acceptable.

There was a time when adults acted their age, but those days are long gone — as the internet and the cable clans paved the way for the onslaught of the utterly absurd. We’re in perennial pursuit of ideologies — warfare waged with:

opinions lightly adopted but firmly held . . . forged from a combination of ignorance, dishonesty, and fashion

— Life at the Bottom

Years before the Green Book movie came out, when I was working in St. Louis I went to the Route 66 exhibit at the History Museum. What sticks out in my mind the most is The Negro Motorist Green Book

Like most people, I had a romanticized image of Route 66 — it never hit me how dangerous it was for blacks to travel back then — they needed “special” travel guides for safe places to stop.

So while we’ve had periods of greatness, we’ve rested on our laurels and looked the other way all too often. And with the technology of today, we see no evil with lickety–split satisfaction.

At times, the Right is justifiably infuriated by the Left, and vice versa — and this site illustrates their systematic efforts to derail debate.

I ask a different question . . .

I do that a lot

I don’t do slogans, so to me, “Black Lives Matter” is just as empty as its comeback cousin.

Blunt instruments for change are just too ham-handed for my taste.

Rather than endlessly debate catch phrases, monuments, and movements — I’m far more interested in considering the underlying merit in a point of view. While everyone else spins their wheels on who’s right, I define what I see by factoring for what’s true (isolating and correlating along the way).

When it comes to ascertaining the truth, I don’t care what your cause is, who’s in the White House, who controls Congress or the courts.

I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see.

Does the Democratic Party have a history of manipulating racially charged incidents? Undeniably! Has the left-leaning side of the cable clans increasingly accommodated Democrats over the years? Without question!

Can you conclude what happened to Trayvon and Michael Brown with the same certainty as the death of George Floyd?

No way — but ya did, and in lickety-split fashion.

Zimmerman’s brother perfectly put it: “He had the greater hand in his own demise.” To an apologist, he had no hand at all — a mindset that violates the rules of reality.

If you’re pulled over by the police and you cop an attitude, you’re askin’ for trouble.

And right on cue, “He was a wannabe cop and was told not to follow him!” So, you want to skip right over what transpired and go right to “gunned down” — because he was armed and didn’t follow instructions?

Wishful thinking is not an argument — not to mention the fact that preforming calcified conclusions is prejudice by definition.

The Left seeks to eradicate racism while refusing to recognize how they fuel it. The second they painted Trayvon as a child, they contaminated their judgment. The cops made an honest mistake in calling his watermelon drink “iced tea” (simply because of the brand).

That the media advocates reported it the same way at first is understandable. That they never corrected it is unforgivable.

To conform to fact, we must agree that it was watermelon and consider what it means: Maybe nothing, maybe everything. But you pollute the debate when you won’t even acknowledge the irrefutable.

Worse than that — you poison your purpose.

You’d think that a party that prides itself on intellectualism would examine the efficacy of their efforts. Perhaps even try some predictive analysis:

Hmm, we’ve got the first black president in the White House and we’re marching to Black Lives Matter.

That might be overplaying our hand and have unintended consequences.

Same goes for the removal of monuments — do we really want to infuriate the opposition for fleeting gain?

Maybe the awe-inspiring artistry of historical figures will spark a sense of wonder in the youth. Perhaps they’ll read the plaque and probe for more. Whatever their findings, isn’t there great value in that process of discovery?

Wouldn’t it be better if we just let people make up their own minds about whether problematic pieces embody hate or heritage?

And even if the monuments could magically vanish from the face of the Earth, would that really solve anything?

On top of all that, it seems that the more sensitive we try to be, the more hypersensitive our culture has become. That wasn’t our aim.

We elected a sophisticated guy — shouldn’t we seek change in a bold and sophisticated manner?

After all, wasn’t that the point of his presidency?

Wouldn’t we be more successful in solving problems if we took an honest look at the different dimensions within them? Instead of putting Kaepernick on a pedestal for telling us what we wanna hear, maybe we should be inspired by Kobe who told us what we don’t:

I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American, we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American.

For immovable conservatives who find comfort in that quote — take a good look in the mirror, because defending the indefensible is your M.O.

What we’re seeing today was partly built on a foundation of manufactured outrage (which applies to most controversial issues in America over the last 30 years).

Decades of dishonesty in the Gutter Games of Government is not a nation on a path to greatness.

I wrote this piece before I came across the accompanying video. I was blown away by these words:

Anti-racism, as currently configured — has gone a long way from what used to be considered intelligent and sincere civil rights activism. Today it’s a religion.

That was then . . .

this is now . . .