Whether you wear prescription lens or just sun glasses, there is always the need to clean and polish your lens. Dust, lint and sometimes even food will blur them, the result – distorted images. A distorted pair of lens impairs your visibility, perception and judgement, thereby compromising your responses. So in a commonsense effort to avoid mishap, you clean the lens of your eye wear frequently.
As simple as that process seems, I have observed lens so filthy, rear view mirrors so dirty and headlights so messy, that the operators must be in a constant state of disorientation and delayed responses – all the images they see are distorted, but because of either laziness or carelessness the lens never get cleaned. To be fair, sometimes this is just a temporary situation for some of us, because pretty soon we re-assemble our marbles and resume responsible behavior, but for a whole other universe out there, blurred lens and distorted images are a way of life.
So, where am I going with this figurative, metaphorical mumbo jumbo? I believe in metaphors and the power they possess in clarifying complexity. Yes, you get it, there are millions of people in this great republic who are stumbling around looking for a leader, a savior, a champion to restore their dignity, sense of security, status and all their perceived loss. Their lens are blurred, they are angry, bitter and resentful and the distorted images they see are Black and Brown people sharing with them what they perceive as the shrinking pie. This has been an American problem since the emancipation proclamation, when scores of thriving Black communities were routinely torched and burned to the ground by their grudging and envious white neighbors (distorted images and sociopathic responses).
In an effort to address the concern I posed in my last column, as to what “the chump’s” followers see in him, I can now tell you conclusively – they see nothing in him. Through their blurred lens, they see a distorted image of a savior, someone to relieve their anxiety, take them out of their misery, save them from the impending Black and Brown kingdoms in America.
Now those of us with clear, clean lens can see America’s real problem, the other America that’s still stuck in the ante-bellum period of our history, the other America that doesn’t even know the world has changed, much less how much it HAS changed. The other America that still sees the world through blurred lens and perceives distorted images, that’s the America that is truly ugly and horrifying.