Vices & Virtues–7/26/16

*Ethan new

There’s no point in arguing….

These tensions, I’ll never understand them. That’s what they tell me.

I’ll never understand the ugly impetus’ behind the tragedies, the fabric of hatred, the emotion driving these daily headlines beating us black and blue.

With the blue beating the black…

And the black beating back….

It’s a cultural injustice that’s just too unfamiliar for me to grasp. At least, that’s what they tell me…

But the truth is, I’ve felt the heavy, oppressive hands of the law ever since pre-school…. when I wasn’t allowed to drink grape juice in the living-room.

Because my father could be a real drip sometimes, man. God rest his soul. But that was our life. As long as we lived under that chauvinistic, power-hungry dictator’s roof, we had to play by his rules:

No grape juice in the living-room.

No pets in the washing machine.

No Ninja Turtles in the toilet.

If only he’d taken the time to observe my coloring skills, then dad would’ve known I was the most mature 4-year-old he’d ever met. But I think the “carpet coloring” skills must’ve been a distraction…

What can I say? I was the prodigal Michelangelo, and the living-room was my Sistine Chapel whenever grape juice was involved.

Before I was allowed to sip juice while watching Blue’s Clues in said chapel, I had to stop taking the show so darn literally. What I mean by that is: My father didn’t really appreciate all the “blue clues” left on his furniture, floors, and (somehow) ceiling fans, and since they belonged to him, they were under his jurisdiction.

So I had to prove that I knew how gravity worked. I had to prove that I could keep the juice INSIDE the cup. I had to be trusted.

And how do we gain such a trust? How do we change people’s minds? How do we dissolve stereotypes that promote our persecution?

It’s your lucky day, folks. Follow these lifestyle tips to perfection, and everything will be fine.

Ranking nearly first on the list of things to accomplish: Resist the urge to flounce about as if on a trampoline while drinking grape juice.

Check. Commit that to memory. Because pretty soon, you’ll be trusted with grape juice almost everywhere you go, even most chapels on certain Sundays.

Eventually you’ll reach the next item on your checklist towards a lifetime human decency: Resist the urge to shoot a police officer.

This one is very, very important. Especially if at some point you find yourself backing a platform endorsed by Beyonce. Because by doing so, you’ve already claimed a motive: you want to convince police officers to change their perspectives of you.

Now I don’t know what it’s going to take. I don’t know what it’s going to take to erase subconscious mindsets developed by an occupation which tends to condition its employees to be a little more “cautious” in certain neighborhoods; the same way I don’t know what it’s going to take to convince myself that every snake I cross in the woods isn’t poisonous…

But I know what doesn’t work… And that’s giving into anger, neutering all progress your forefathers gave their lives to achieve, and just… Spilling that juice. Staining that movement. Doing it all on purpose. Out of spite, and nothing more…

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