Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/7/19

Strange Days of Sorrowful Joy and the American Stain

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   6 comments
Author 512335
Message Rohn Kenyatta
U.S. color guard
U.S. color guard
(Image by U.S. Army Europe)
  Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Today was a strange day for me, which is a bit more than a notion. I have been through things in my life, were they not verifiable, that most would find incredulous. I have witnessed violence of all types at a level that would make 99 percent of the people that read this puke. Physical violence. Emotional violence. Intellectual violence. Educational violence. Systemic violence, including that which is institutional. Academic violence and racial violence; I mention these two together as one is the incestuous parent of the other. I have also been blessed with incredible experiences as well as people who have respected my intelligence and inspired me.

This is a lot harder to write than I thought it would be.

I was once told "suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces faith which, in the end, will not disappoint". Methinks I've character aplenty. Consequential to my life experiences, I am not shaken by many things and not much surprises me. It startles me to be startled; especially when I don't see it coming.

Today, the U.S. president capped several days of pomp and circumstance in Europe with a commemoration of the invasion of Normandy. Both my father and grandfather were veterans and I, like Trump, attended military school (that analogous disclosure will cause me night terrors). My grandfather walked with a severe alteration to his gait due to a piece of shrapnel that lodged in his right hip in World War II. He kind of dipped one shoulder to the right when he walked. He was a giant of a man, not just physically, who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. He worked at the Sherwin-Williams smelter in Coffeyville, Kansas, until lung cancer took him in his mid-sixties. My grandfather received that shrapnel as he invaded Normandy in 1944; a million miles from poke salad. A teenage black hick from Arkansas. He often told me the story of him entering an establishment where there were captured Nazi soldiers drinking after V-Day. He was told, by his white officer, to go to the back door in full uniform. He also told me about French allied soldiers who treated him like an animal. He told me about how, when he came home from overseas, to Arkansas, he was called what we are called, to this very day, and told to enter from the back door. He was one of the best men I have ever known.

- Advertisement -

A few years ago, I told this white fellow about my grandfather's service and he responded by telling me "there were no Negroes in the invasion of Normandy". I let that go.

As I watched the U.S. president lay wreaths (while attempting to look solemn) at the various and sundry commemorative events splashed over the media, I could barely contain my resentment. Here is Agent Orange, Mr. five deferments, waxing on courage and bravery. A self-proclaimed tough guy that, I am willing to bet diamonds to donuts, has never been in a fist fight in his life. A guy who is openly racist and Blackist. I have been in all manner of combat in my life and I have known some real tough guys; I am not one of them. And if I am not one of them, Agent Orange sure as hell is not.

My grandfather, and my father, loved the United States and its flag; maybe it was more fear than love. Whatever it was I do not understand it. I have the triangular folded flag from my father's funeral to this day. Contraindicative to my lineage, I have no such affectations for the United States and fully recognize that her flag has never meant anything but harm to people that look like me. The irony is that the experiences of my forefathers proves it; and it appears as though the experiences of my descendants will follow suit unless something drastically changes. The contrasting perversion of the whole charade affected me in a way that was unexpected, thusly my sorrow. Whether you know it or not, my sorrow is the sorrow of a nation. My anger and insult are my own as they are more than justified; they are, in fact, required.

- Advertisement -

I have raised my youngest child alone since the day she was born. She is my pride and joy for many reasons. She attends a private university and has earned an internship pursuant to her major which is psychology. I must acquiesce to great wonder and significant merriment in her need to put me in hock for the rest of my life so that she might study psychology. My mirth is resultant of the fact that it is rather superfluous to study psychology when she has a perfectly good laboratory/specimen in her father. Nothing like hands on experience. Joyous, is it not?

Today, resultant of my child's internship, she was required to report to a site that deals with "underprivileged" children. It is a public building. Since her departure, I have been unable to relinquish the thought of some human symptom of the disease that permeates this society going "postal" and shooting up the facility. Same when she headed out for middle school, high school, on her university campus or any public place. The sorrow is that this anxiety has become normal, another appendage of American "exceptionalism". And whether you know it or not, my sorrow is the sorrow of a nation. My anger and insult are my own they are more than justified; they are, in fact, required.

Mark Twain wrote "the two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you figure out why". The former is easy and effortless, while the latter is difficult, may come as a surprise, offers no gaurantee of fulfillment and is fraught with peril.

A strange day, indeed.

(Article changed on June 7, 2019 at 04:28)

(Article changed on June 7, 2019 at 07:04)

- Advertisement -

(Article changed on June 7, 2019 at 13:56)

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 2   Touching 2   Must Read 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Rohn Kenyatta Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rohn Kenyatta is a native Californian and single parent. He has three children all of them girls. He raises the youngest child alone and has since her birth. He runs a small consulting firm that provides corporate legal documentation to various (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Black Death: Black Deaths Matter?

What "African American" Means to Me: A Metamorphosis of Terms

Collusion, Conspiracy and Crickets

Strange Days of Sorrowful Joy and the American Stain

The U.S. Carries the LOAD

Biden-v-Trump: A Distinction Without a Difference or a Choice Between Death and Dying?

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   



You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.
Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 
Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

3 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments  Post Comment


Rohn Kenyatta

Become a Fan
Author 512335

(Member since Nov 1, 2018), 5 articles, 18 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

This was something that I had no intent on writing, but it was a very strange day.

Submitted on Friday, Jun 7, 2019 at 2:18:40 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
Indent

George W.Reichel

Become a Fan
Author 86924
Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Apr 1, 2013), 5 fans, 1261 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to Rohn Kenyatta:   New Content

I saw no black faces at the celebration with the Royal Reptiles.Nor any Russian or Chinese faces.Russians lost over 25 million to the Nazi war machine.China lost 20 million to the Japanese.

Submitted on Friday, Jun 7, 2019 at 8:52:41 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
IndentIndent

Rohn Kenyatta

Become a Fan
Author 512335

(Member since Nov 1, 2018), 5 articles, 18 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to George W.Reichel:   New Content

Mr. Reichel, I made that same observation. Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" lives. I am working on an essay about Black invisibility, I hope you read it upon publishing.

Your comment pertinent to China and Russia is totally correct. In fact, without Russia, the U.S. would have been forced to grab its proverbial ankles.

Thank you for such a salient comment.

Submitted on Friday, Jun 7, 2019 at 11:44:47 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
IndentIndent

Lois Gagnon

Become a Fan
Author 61784

(Member since Mar 21, 2011), 38 fans, 1 articles, 13 quicklinks, 5168 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to George W.Reichel:   New Content

Also strange was the presence of Angela Merkel. Is it just me or are we being propagandized to think the Germans were the good guys and those who were truly fighting fascism must be forgotten?

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 8, 2019 at 12:27:49 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Lois Gagnon

Become a Fan
Author 61784

(Member since Mar 21, 2011), 38 fans, 1 articles, 13 quicklinks, 5168 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

This government has never really been on the good side in any human conflict. Meanness, cruelty and hatred are ingrained into the national psyche.

White culture has done its best to create a veneer of justice and fairness to market to the world. Nobody with any integrity is buying it anymore.

Thanks for your honesty. It's essential for people to tell their personal stories in order to break through the denial of reality that envelopes us.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 8, 2019 at 12:36:15 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 
Indent

Rohn Kenyatta

Become a Fan
Author 512335

(Member since Nov 1, 2018), 5 articles, 18 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

"Nobody with any integrity is buying it anymore".


I can't add much to that for that tub stands on its own.


Submitted on Saturday, Jun 8, 2019 at 1:47:34 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment