They went down with the ship and did not resist.

This country developed a fever at birth and it increasingly got higher. The fever has always been here, but it changed from a low-grade fever to an exceptionally high one over the last 20 years. Most people who have ever been sick know that the fever is a signal that something is wrong in the body, but most people do not commit suicide because they think that it is too serious to cure with proper treatment.

I wonder does anyone question how so many powerful men, who seemingly had spines and backbones, went down the road of least resistance as they followed the ex-president when the country’s fever got high. Tillerson, Bolton, Kelly, Mattis, Zinke, Chao, S. Perdue, Ross, Acosta, Price, Carson, Perry, Devos, Pompeo, Haley, Pruitt, Mnuchin, Session and Shulkin. The list is forever long and is increasing every day.

There are some who are still committing political suicide and are still getting on the sinking ship, knowing that it is going down and everyone on board has a fever. People like Brad Raffensperger and Brian Kemp, who are basically decent family men who know better but are refusing to get off the sinking ship. The more the ex-president calls them fools, the more dug in they get.

Can the love of power do that to men who seem to have had political promise to help carry this country — but in particular, this state — to higher heights and deeper depths? Lee Ann Womack made a statement in her song “I Hope You Dance” that one should never fear the mountains in the distance and yet, on the other hand, we should “always seem small beside the ocean.”

Our country has a fever and the decent people know what it will take to reduce the fever and help the body get healthy again. We are at that fork in the road again.

Compared to other countries, America is a toddler. This little baby country is still developing, growing and falling down and getting up again. Just as with the toddler when he begins to walk and realizes he can run. Of course, we know the fall is coming so we pray that he does not fall too hard and knock his newly developed teeth out. Many times, we are too far away to catch the toddler before the fall.

The adults in the room did not catch the toddler America this time before she tripped and scarred her face. She looks a mess today with her high grade fever. Many times the adult is just a couple of steps away or just not quick enough to reach the child before the fall. It then turns into a “shouda, woulda coulda.” I shoulda been closer or I woulda held her hand or you coulda asked me to watch her. Now the blame game is taking place full throttle.

We have been at many forks before, but we are still here as a “united states.” Or, as Doug Walker wrote in his column “One nation under God,”: “I thank my lucky stars to be living here today ‘cause the flag still stands for freedom and no one can take that away.” He goes on to say that “freedom allows you to disagree … it allows us to protest inequalities that still exist.”

We were at a fork and running a high fever on Feb. 3, 1870, when the 15th Amendment — which gave the right to vote to Black men — became law after the required number of states ratified it. What a fever we had giving a Black man the right to vote.

We were at a fork June 9, 1870, when Georgia became the last of the Confederate states to return to the Union. Fever, did you say?

What a high fever this country had when the Radical Republicans called for fair treatment of Blacks who had won elections and deserved to be recognized as politicians and treated as such. Many of us thought that, when some Republicans began calling the Democrats “Radical Dems,” the term was new. No, it was not a new term at all.

The Radical Republicans called themselves radicals because of their goal of immediate, complete, permanent eradication of slavery, without compromise. They existed from 1854-1877. They were dogged and dragged in the mud by the moderate Republicans because of their action and their thinking.

We have had many fevers along the journey; too numerous to track. Some were near death fevers such as the one that the Civil War caused. When Dr. King came on the scene and began calling for social justice, what a fever it caused. He did it because of our Constitution and what the Preamble promises to all people.

Most of the high fevers of the past — and present — were caused by one group suggesting that America be America to all and the other group is opposed. For the fever to be reduced, we must have the attitude that we are involved in a “you win and I win” situation. With us returning to the belief that we, being humane, can agree to disagree.

That can only be done if both sides have respect for each other. Our fevers will be reduced. This treatment is called being humane in action not just words.

Willie Mae Samuel is a playwright, founder and director of the African American Connection of the Performing Arts Inc. and a 2020 Heart of the Community Award recipient. She can be contacted at artsnow2019@gmail.com.

Recommended for you

Comments disabled.