I grew up in a Motown home. I can’t remember a month when my father was not playing or singing some song from Hitsville. It was a music tradition which shaped me. Songs which more powerfully yesterday than today reflected on the situation of America and her citizens of color. One of the teacher’s my father introduced me to was Marvin Gaye.
Today Marvin still teaches me. Teaches me to think about myself. He teaches me to look deeply at our current society and practice my own inner city blues.
Crime is increasing,
Trigger happy policing
Panic is spreading
God knows where
Losing a loved one can be devastating under the conditions of poor health. The loss of a loved one can be greatly compounded when there is the strong possibility of injustice accompanying the human experience of death.
How do you lose your life when you have done everything right? Graduate college. Secure a good paying job. Serve your community. How can I make sense of the reality a young man did what society says is required to succeed and still…lose his life.
Maybe my own confidence in those who police is being taken from me. Panic is spreading. Is not my anxiety justified? Are the emotions I feel when I see a patrol car real. Panic is spreading. I wonder if those who serve and protect us actually serve themselves and protect their own at taxpaying expense. Panic is spreading. Maybe it will matter when they come for you. When they seek to find a way to justify the loss of your life as your fault and not their own.
I don’t know where we are heading but God knows. Somehow Marvin had hope.
Oh, make me wanna holler
They don’t understand
Make me wanna holler
They don’t understand
There is a sense people live in an alternative reality and it makes me question my own mental health. Can we really be imagining these phone calls, the recorded events of police interactions, and voices which silently whisper, “You are still a second class minority.”
Illusions are the onset of some form of mental anxiety. The images and sensations of perceived realities. Maybe all of this is an illusion. The words of “We the People” appear to be illusive transcriptions of a dream. This song which rings loudly of a place where there is a land and home of free brave persons is nothing more than a whispered rumor. A wind which many of us have a difficult time to grasp.
This makes me wanna holler. Loss and illusions make me wanna to scream in a society which uses materialism, prosperity, and violation to drown out my cries. Losing friends because of foolish arguments about politics. Losing long held relationships because country triumphs of
Where are we going? Do people hear my hollering about our losses and the impending panic because I don’t think we know where we are going.
The irony is as I write this, I mean holler, I don’t think many want to understand. But God understands and God knows. So I think Jeremiah who practiced his own inner city blues would stand side by side with Marvin.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning: great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:21-23)
*Words from Marvin Gaye’s, “Inner City’s Blues”