Daisys of Delusion, One Petal at a Time

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On September 7, 1964, a political television advertisement entitled Peace, Little Girl (a.k.a. Daisy) was released. It was an extraordinarily controversial yet sobering commercial. The Black and white video showed a little white girl picking daisy petals from its flower while counting. Toward the end of the girl’s counting, the sound of an official countdown is softly mingling into the background. The camera begins to zoom in, focusing on the girl’s eye. Later, the audibly official countdown dominates. Now her iris fills the entire screen amid that; a mushroom cloud of a thermonuclear explosion expands until it takes over the screen. At that point, a voiceover is heard saying, 

“These are the stakes. To make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die.” Lyndon Bains Johnson

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Another reality persists for those of the dominant culture who think that they are immune from corrosive and evil destruction by their privilege. In Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, with the police shooting of Daunte Wright, another petal falls off the flower. The flower is The Illusion called the United States of America, something that a Norman Rockwell painting or a Leave It to Beaver episode attempts to conjure up. 

While petal after petal falls to the ground with every unjust quenching of another black life at the hands of the State (Law Enforcement), the cavernous darkness of division widens. 

“They will die, and the place of death will open its mouth wide and swallow many of them. Then the noisy crowds and all the beautiful, happy people who are now so comfortable will go down into the grave.”

Isaiah 5:14 Easy-to-Read Version

Just a few miles down the road, Derek Chauvin’s defense team is busy trying to sow confusion while searching for one juror to make uncomfortable enough to plunge the rest of the jury into the perfect blend of uncertainty to get him acquitted. 

What escapes societies’ perceptions in this whole obscure picture is that our civilization itself is becoming uncivil. As was the commercial’s daisy, what portrays as beautiful is deception. The reality is destruction. When the law keeps distorting one group’s rights over another, all suffer, and America becomes a byword for hypocrisy. 

Meanwhile, our children and future generations are watching. They are asking, “will we ever get a chance to correct things, and is there a way out? On the contrary, are we regurgitating a generation of demagogues and radicals? To keep the American experiment from decomposing into absolute oblivion, Justice must prevail. 

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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Dr. Martin Luther King

This arc won’t bend by itself. People on all sides of the ethnic divide must apply maximum pressure through prayer, policy changes, peaceful protest, and participation in the electoral process. Then and only then will Dr. Martin Luther Kings most quoted verse of scripture have a possibility of becoming a reality:

 “But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.”  

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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