Black Friday. Yes, I’m dreaming of a Black Friday. And this has nothing to do with buying merchandise for cheap.
Some things really can be more important than one of the hotly advertised “Doorbuster sales.” (Just clicked that link now and I found more than 35 million hits.)
Have you ever understood the allure of getting together with a herd of other shoppers? And then you stampede so hard against the store entrance that you bust down that door?
Or whatever else the heck that gleeful term “doorbuster” supposed to mean!
Black Friday. Finally, Something I Can Dream About
Because I’ve never understood the allure of something else that’s oh-so-popular: I’m dreaming of a White Christmas. (Even though I do enjoy The Drifters’ version, in that link I’ve just given you.)
Sure the song is supposed to be about snow. Yet it always seemed vaguely racist to me. Even more so, the caps that read Make America White Again. (Which is how I’ve always heard the Trumpist slogan.)
By contrast, how about today’s new slogan? Yes, I’m dreaming of a Black Friday.
Definitely, in my imagination, today could be the start of a new American holiday. Where once again we celebrate all Americans with some African ancestry.
Black Friday. A Holiday Long Overdue
Granted, I’m grateful for the day that’s coming, January 21. When America celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As one of our country’s greatest leaders, he deserves that honor.
And, yes, it’s good that we have Black History Month.
Pop Quiz, do you know which month is African-American History Month?
February, of course.
Geesh, some white executives had to choose the shortest month of the year?
Still the month and the day definitely beat how much our Asian-Americans get. Or Latinos. Or all the “huge” acknowledgement given to our Native Americans.
Look, I’m grateful for even a smidgen of fairness. Aren’t you?
But How About This New Kind of Black Friday?
I’m dreaming of a Black Friday where the entire country honors everyday people. Americans who live now! Celebrates people through smiling and talking together and trusting. With respect.
Imagine a Black Friday with acknowledgement of my friend Elaine, the Praise Dance teacher; and another friend, Jenny, whose four children would count as “black” in the same way that President Obama does, magnificent kids whom I’ve watched grow up.
And acknowledgement of Dr. Tettefio, my son’s pediatrician; or Dr. Valerie Williamson, who was my physician for decades.
Personally, I’ve got such a long list of people I’ve known and liked and, sometimes, loved. And surely you do, too. (Especially if you’re also black!)
When We Don’t Properly Celebrate Black Friday, What Happens?
Ridiculous things! Sad things!
Here’s one example I couldn’t help but notice: Some of my RES Apprentices have chosen to not go public with their names and photos. They haven’t felt comfortable being listed on my RES Experts part of this website. That’s true of some of the “white” Apprentices but it’s much more often been true of those who are not.
Why? I suspect, because they needed their day jobs. Understandably they didn’t want to be googled — then outed — as doing a kind of work that (for now) is unrecognized, even controversial. Hey, can you understand why that has been common with RES Experts who are “people of color”?
- African-American RES Apprentices and a Practitioner
- Asian-Americans RES Apprentices
- And also a Native American-American RES Apprentice, plus the very first RES Practitioner I graduated.
Never did I ask them directly, “Is that because life is already hard enough for you, not being white?” Why ask? I didn’t have to.
Black Friday. Without Waiting for an Official Holiday, Let’s Start Celebrating
Celebrate how? With our humanity, with friendship, with respect, with caring.
Even if sometimes the racial tensions in America feel as thick as the recent post-fire smog in California.
Personally, I struggle with guilt over thoughtless behavior I did, back in the day.
Ever since I learned about implicit bias, I’ve done what I could to get over it. Might getting over social harshness in our collective consciousness be one of the trickiest aspects of personal growth?
Sometimes I worry that my behavior is clumsy. But I keep on doing the best I can, because how else can I learn to do better?
So that’s how I aim to celebrate Black Friday. Plus all the other Friday holidays that America needs to fulfill our promise. Holidays that may never be legislated into universal acceptance. Yet we can hold them in our hearts and do our best to live them.