America Is Burning, But We’ll Be Ok

The 2020 United States presidential election results have yet to be finalized. A race this close, this tightly contested exposes so much of what America refuses to let go and what she can truly achieve.

“Day of resurrection bring life to the lifeless. Tear the wall down pull a crown of a tyrant. Rebuild gentrify the planet for the righteous. He who sacrifices for the greater good. Elevate them where they should to the title of your highness.” — Brother Ali

Though, I’m not a direct descendent of the enslaved people in America, I’ve had to be black in this country for most of my life. My family immigrated to this country in the mid-1980s from Nigeria. Comparable to most people migrating to the West, opportunity was the primary desire. We achieved our goals here, mirrored what we thought was good citizenship, held on to our culture, yet assimilated in so many different ways. Nevertheless, we accomplished these things in spite of a playing field that’s just not equal, but comically irrational. Prior to social media, as a black immigrant in the States, there wasn’t a playbook on existing in America. When purchasing a new home, you have to reside in it awhile to start noticing its flaws.

You have to live here awhile to really smell the stank. I’ve been a guest in this house, now a permanent resident, although I can’t help but notice all of the dirt swept under the rug in the middle of the living room. America has yet to deal with its greatest sin, the consequence has been division. The foundation is now cracked, yet there has seemed to be structural problems from the very beginning (see The 1619 Project). A previous owner spilled gasoline everywhere in the residence (see Ronald Reagan’s presidency). Faulty wiring has caused random sparks throughout the home (see the summer of 2020). Now the whole goddamn thing is in flames, leaving us, the American people, with a fire to put out and a house to rebuild with worn out tools.

Despite the prevailing circumstances, we’ll get through this. No matter who becomes the president-elect in the coming days, weeks, or months (church auntie faint), this too shall pass. Black people in this country, in particular, have been through much worse. Pain should not always be the prerequisite to resilience, yet Black people have found themselves in an all too familiar situation. Take several deep breaths, unplug from the madness, take a walk in nature; know that we’ll be ok. If we still hold high the ideals on which America was founded upon, we’re going to suffer some burns to see these principles manifested in the upcoming years. Take care of yourself and take care of one another.




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Chiedu Areh

Chiedu Areh

My weekly musings on life, marriage, fatherhood, and more.

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