Spike Lee’s 1992 biographical epic movie, “Malcolm X” is one of my favorite cinematic works of all time. Lee, as well as the phenomenal thespians associated with the film, were able to capture all of the elements that are associated with an epic hero. From Malcolm X’s birth into one of the most tumultuous time in United State History up to his tragic death, as well as everything in-between; this is truly a testament of both self-realization and redemption. As impactful as the movie and story of Malcolm X continues to be; there is one quote that stands out to me that is most fitting in today’s social, economic, and political and landscape. The quote is: “You done slipped.” I know. Not quite the monologue or soliloquy one may have expected. However, I did say in today’s landscape.
“Red”, a name earned by Malcolm X before he found teachings of The Nation, had gotten into a misunderstanding with West African Archie (a local numbers’ man) over winnings from a number that he’d played. Numbers that West African Archie had indeed forgotten that “Red” had told him to play. “Red” not wanting to further escalate the situation said to forget about the whole thing but with a parting shot to West African Archie told him: “but you done slipped.” If you watched the movie, then you know how the story plays out. But why this quote?
I, no the world, has watched the ongoing saga between the Republican and Democratic Party over funding for The Wall. This circus, which is being shown on every major global media outlet, has shifted from being somewhat of an actual debatable issue or topic of concern into what I feel is another jab to the eyes of democracy to blacken them even more. Again, yes there are valid points on both sides of the argument, and eventually one side will win out; but at what cost? And perhaps more importantly; who will be the collateral damage left to pick up the pieces of their lives once the smoke settles. Oh, trust and believe, the fallout from this one will be great. This is where the quote “we done slipped” rears its head.
For years America has always claimed the existence of a middle to upper-middle class in our society. And for years, there has been many events that threatened to destabilize that phantom notion or existence. Whether the tech bubble burst, housing market crash, or drastic drops in the stock market sending people in a frenzy; things always seem to settle before they get too bad. Most of the time. And for the rest of the world; it may have seemed that there were safeguards in place that would not allow for The United States to fall in disarray like many other countries have in similar situations. However, the last month and a couple of days showed that we have indeed “slipped.” And what was even more tragic and disturbing to watch were the federal employees who were hit first and the hardest standing in lines for food and services as if they were…dare I say…indignant or homeless. Many of these job holders are the safety net between the citizens of America and the many local, national, and international threats which somehow, in the current administrative intelligence reports, have all gathered in the country south of The United States of America. But I digress; because it seems like every politician in Congress and The White House has. Meanwhile, back in reality, federal workers returned to work today. One hand on the ticket to punch the clock, while their eyes and mind look toward a future of uncertainty. Yep, we have definitely slipped. I’m just hoping that we have not fallen and can’t get back up.