LETTER: Letter to Equality

Arthur "Wrinkles" Cain

Dear Equality,

It’s my sincerest hope that you are doing well in our existence! I know we don’t necessarily know one another, but I felt this missive was a necessity. For years, I’ve heard of you from my elders, and saw very distorted images of you. I say distorted because your image didn’t resemble the definitions/descriptions given to me. I vividly remember closing my eyes while my parents spoke of you. I tried to visualize how you looked, talked, treated others, and what would you say to me whenever we formally met for the first time.

It’s crazy because all my life, I’ve only been limited to glimpses of you. Sometimes, I feel duped by every person who told me these inspirational stories of you – about how you’re supposed to have everyone’s best interest at heart and how “your persistence would be our Saving Grace and change the world.” It might be fair to say that your intentions are good, but the execution poor. I look around this vast landscape we call life, and I can hardly see you at all. As do many, I’ve spent days and nights trying to convince myself that any day now, you’ld appear, and all would be right in the world.

Suddenly, reality hits me hard with the weight of its horrid truths – one being, how just a few months ago, we had a fair and decent President who was opposed at every turn, just because he was Black. While some would argue this point, It’s my opinion, therefore, I’m sticking to it! Then, there’s this sad but true fact: the American criminal justice system seems to consistently ensnare Blacks/Mexicans and Hispanics at an alarming rate, as if the laws aren’t applicable to all nationalities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way implying that people don’t have choices they make in their life, but your presence or lack thereof matters!

I’m also not implying that races other than Blacks/Mexicans/Hispanics are suddenly not being targeted, because that wouldn’t be conducive to my point. What I’m saying is that you and only you can level the playing field, but you seem to enjoy the calamity and chaos the ensues without your presence! I’m almost positive that if I could somehow talk to the Philando Castilles, Trayvon Martins, Eric Garners, Michael Browns, Sandra Blands, Freddie Grays and Walter Scotts of the world, and ask them what they think – ‘Did the lack of your presence play a major part in the extermination of their lives?’ – they would all confidently say, “yes!”

Though many have tried, they never seem to acquire you when they need you most! That’s truly disheartening considering I live in a country that speaks of you so highly! Even for the countries that don’t have a real sense of you, I’m sure they still have hope that when they hear of you, you one day will appear in tangible form. For decades I’ve seen and heard people cry out for you – even heard a very profound speech by a very profound man, in which he professes to “…. have a dream” that you would simply show your face.

I imagine if he were still alive, he’d still be looking. You have so much untapped potential; if you would only manifest yourself the way you’ve been advertised! I can only hope that one day soon, you start to have faith in those who seek you – the same way they have faith that you indeed do exist. They just need evidence of your existence!