By Norma Adams-Wade
Ever wondered why people centuries ago lived on top of mountains, behind fortresses with all kinds of barriers — a narrow river running in front of the entrance, guards posted atop the stone fortress walls, maybe even a second wall inside the first wall?
These fortresses, of course, made it difficult, often very difficult, for enemies to breach the security traps and get inside where the people lived.
I was just thinking, though…why was all this protection, security and padding necessary?
Why not just live in peace and leave each other alone?
And that is the universal question of humankind. Why not live and let live?
Even the Bible – with so much talk about love – is overrun with wars, murders, assassinations, pillage, plunder, deception, covetousness, greed, and so on, and so
Hip hop songsters will.i.am and the Black Eyed Peas group put the icing on the cake when – with a Herculean punch — in 2003 they released the video “Where is the Love.”
Not the 1972 broken-hearted, lost-love tune by the same name yet different artists: Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.
Where is the love you said was mine all mine,
‘Til the end of time?
Was it just a lie?
Where is the love?
But a way deeper, soul-searching lament about the piss poor condition of the world –full of racial violence, police brutality, political upheaval in government, worldwide conflicts over religion, land and resources, and so on… will and the Peas said:
“I think the whole world’s addicted to drama
Only attracted to things that’ll bring you trauma.”
…It just ain’t the same, old ways have changed
New days are strange, is the world insane?”
After his brutal 1991 beating by LA cops that set off riots the following year, Rodney King asked the world: “Can we all get along? Can we get along?” Apparently not. Here we are 30 years later, and hatred, bigotry, murder and mayhem still reign.
I’m trying not to mention Russian President Vladimir Putin because I do not want to smudge this paper with vileness. But unless we are missing some deeper meaning, the tyrannical despot saw Ukraine sitting peacefully next door and decided he wanted to possess its land, people, and resources. Thus began his inexplicable and evil reign of terror.
Live and let live? No.
Can we all get along? No.
Can we just leave each alone? No.
I want what is yours and I will take it by force.
The longstanding West Virginia-Kentucky Hatfield and McCoy feud lasted so long during and after the Civil War that younger generations likely did not even know what sparked the conflict. The hatred between the two families over land, Civil War differences, and family betrayal was so palpable that it likely contaminated the air in the Appalachian mountains. Descendants devised a nationally-reported truce in 2003 – well over a century after the feud started. One descendant said he wanted to send a national message that Americans can put their differences aside.
“We’re not saying you don’t have to fight, because sometimes you do have to fight,” media quoted Hat-field descendant Reo Hatfield as saying. “But you don’t have to fight forever.” Media also quoted words from a proclamation of peace truce that more than 60 members of the two families reportedly sign: “We ask by God’s grace and love that we be forever remembered as those that bound together the hearts of two families to form a family of freedom in America.”
So again, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, pro-lifers, pro-choicers, mask supporters and mask opponents, CRT advocates and CRT critics — why not just live in peace and leave each other alone. Is that really too much to ask?
Norma Adams-Wade, is a proud Dallas native, University of Texas at Austin journalism graduate and retired Dallas Morning News senior staff writer. She is a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists and was its first southwest regional director. She became The News’ first Black full-time reporter in 1974. firstname.lastname@example.org