Monday, April 27, 2020

See What Well Regarded Writer Tolson Banner Says About Searching For The New Normal In A COVID-19 World

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Jackson Atlanta Airport During COVID-19 pandemic.  Source Click Here
Op-ed By Tolson Banner

I’m sifting through the detritus: the ruins and decay of a human lifestyle once herald as the “NORM”. The mists from my recall are starting to dissipate. I’ve entered the COVID 19 twilight zone where all sense of ‘knowingness” ceases.

I’m at a place in time and space I know nothing about! I walk with my mustard seeds of faith; my higher consciousness – both closer to my spirit. Words have no place here.


It wasn’t that long ago I could venture outside indiscriminately. Catch a movie at a theater spontaneously. Grab a bite to eat without a moment’s notice. Take in a sunset by the ocean at will. Now my time isn’t so carefree.

My movement is clocked by the all-seeing CORONAVIRUS EYE!

Now, I must employ six feet social distancing less I find myself planted six feet in Mother Earth. A twenty- second hand washing may grant me another 60 seconds of life. A life of acclimation under Coronavirus duress. This transformation is taking place with or without my consent. COVID 19 arrived like an invisible plague with death lurking in its ominous shadows. So soon - too soon! And the Trump White House response has been too slow – way too slow!

Despite this grim outlook, I want to start imagining what this new NORM will look like and how much of the old NORM will carryover? I am asking myself during these pensive, reflective moments are we really grasping the “Armageddon” taking place in the skies of our minds? A battle between what was - what now?

I pose this query: Will we discard the rapacious and avaricious nature of “shock capitalism” which scares the defecation out of the people while corporations gloat in their greed?

Not much evidence of that taking place. If the first stimulus COVID 19 bill was any indication, it revealed corporate greed was still alive and still salivating from its penchant for over indulgence.

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President Donald Trump Speaking To Black Survivors Of The Coronavirus - Source Click Here 
I also ask this question: Will the horror of previous diseases, plagues, and viruses unleashed upon Black people allow us to have greater access to health care? Our medical history is replete with stories of pandemic onslaughts; for example, the Tuskegee 626 experiment left Black people untreated for syphilis; HIV decimated intravenous drug users and those bent on multiple sex partners; and Ebola - mysteriously appearing in 1976 along the banks of the Ebola river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ravaged black bodies.

Now that the data is in, it shows COVID 19 is no less unforgiving when it comes to Blacks. Some say we have been genetically modified thru misinformation. Others maintain its a global population control conspiracy. No matter which position you take, the Center for Disease Control released data that revealed 30 percent of COVID 19 patients are African Americans even though we make up only 13 percent of the American population. All indications suggest the old NORM has an incestuous relationship with the so-called new NORM.

I would be remiss if I didn’t hold out promise for the new NORM when it comes to Blacks and the police. As reported by the New York Times, Dr. Armen Henderson, a black doctor, who volunteers testing the homeless for the Coronavirus in downtown Miami, was arrested and detained outside his home.

From the video, it appeared Henderson was racially profiled while he was loading his van outside his home about to embark upon his altruistic endeavor. Henderson was handcuffed and it wasn’t until he alerted his wife to retrieve his identification that the situation started to de-escalate. During an interview with Dr. Henderson on Democracy Now, the doctor said the policeman wasn’t wearing any protective gear. According to Henderson, the officer was in his face like a washcloth. This is where the new NORM is heading? If so, I’m already here!

Video On Dr. Armen Henderson's Police Profiling Courtesy Democracy Now

To fight the spread of Coronavirus, the CDC has mandated people wear masks in public. Many Blacks fear this will only give police another reason to profile. But wearing masks are nothing new for Blacks even though it is totally overlooked by white America: the mask we wear behind our skin color. Paul Lawrence Dunbar, African ancestor poet laureate, captures poetically the other mask Blacks have been wearing to combat the virus of racism, even as it too continues to spread, while we still wait on the “curve” to flatten out: 
“We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,-- This debt we pay to human guile With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties...”

The entire planet rests on the precipice of a possible human organism wipe out. We give lip service to the search for a new NORM when all indications point to the old. The Titanic is sinking and we say we are changing but we are only changing seats. The same thing is still going down, ya dig! The more things change the more they remain the same. At present, the new NORM carries too many vestiges from the old to be considered a new life affirming normalcy. The psycho/demographic data evince a certain truth: the new NORM is an ABNORMALITY, as usual. As I said, I walk with my mustard seeds of faith. Oh yea, I forgot to mention, it’s not the only thing I’m carrying – closer to my spirit, “Ya feel me?”

Tolson Banner - is a writer and columnist. Banner is also the President/CEO of Muzik Xpose: The Digital Radio Entertainment Theater Network. The network streams field hollas, spirituals, gospels, blues, jazz, ragtime, R&B, SOUL, POP, FUNK, NEO-SOUL and AFRO BEATS. Muzik Xpose obliterates genres and showcases all of our music as one life force for spiritual incantations: THE MUSIC OF OUR SOULS! Listen daily on SATIRE. LIVE MUSIC. REAL TALK.


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