What Happens When History Repeats Itself? It Kinda Shows us Something about the Mood in America


The shock is still being felt in some circles from the news out of Chicago over the past few weeks. Some feel disappointment and pain that it happened in Black History Month when we’re supposed to celebrate black excellence. Maybe we can turn this into something that ends the month on a high note.

From comments on social media and the cable shows, it seems the storyline so far is that the players involved got caught up in the money-game, but on the sticky side of things. It might be a case of history repeating itself. The mood almost feels like a flashback to the O.J. Simpson time of media coverage.

The question then was if the glove fits. In the current situation the question might be if the story fits. But how about we see this moment of pain in a different light as we reach for new levels in social progress, professional growth and commercial gain? It helps if we understand the hustle and bustle of the time.


A black history flashback to the Gold Rush of 1849 gives clues on moving ahead. That period for slaves mining gold, later led to economic growth and social change. On the economic side there were three groups that grew out of that situation; gold-money holders, working-class players and business leaders.

On the social side there were issues of race and class as we sometimes see today. With class it’s often about whether one group sees itself as better than the other. With race it’s often about issues of freedom, opportunity, equality and justice. The mood in America often ebbs and flows around larger issues of:

  1. Cultural Identity
  2. Law & Order
  3. Social Privilege
  4. Public Service

Some folks question the role race plays in America’s cultural identity. With this year being the 400-year anniversary of slaves being brought to the U.S., it’s hard to know the history without understanding the journey through Settlement, Slavery, Independence, Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and Civil Rights.

These phases in American history bought different levels of pain and progress. They also came with different encounters with law & order. A ‘war on crime’ has sometimes been used as a cover for policies that imperil certain citizens and communities. It’s given reason for people to cry-out against the system.

A certain mood in America revolves around the question of social privilege. There’s even a sub-culture that believes the new ‘native Americans’ are the white working-class. Because of social change, they feel they’re being treated like the original native American Indians, so they want to ‘take their country back.’

The current field of announced Democratic candidates running for president is 10 and growing. Some wonder if that’s overkill or if it’s just a new level of interest in public service and higher office. While elections might come and go, the public service work as citizens of a more perfect union never ends.


So, while we sometimes have heart-wrenching moments of pain, we can use a black history flashback to the Gold Rush of 1849 to move forward. Without appearing to preach, we can do like those before us by getting past fear, doing the hustle thing, beating tough challenges and maybe even saying Hallelujah!

Tracks: John Legend – Preach  – https://youtu.be/k0r1AJMK79g


Alicia Keys – Hallelujah – https://youtu.be/W1sJKnQmjrM

Marvin Gaye Once Asked “What’s Goin’ On” But Today We Ask “What the What?” #HometownInspiration


Trivia: Who’s the new record-holder for most music sales in a week? (Answer below)

The NY Daily News wants to make a point. Their cover story on the tragedy in San Bernardino read “God Isn’t Fixing This!” They and many others would like to vent frustration in strong terms. Over forty years ago, Marvin Gaye once asked “What’s Goin’ On” But today people are asking WTW – “What the What?”

There’re some world records that America should not be proud of. And denial is not going to change a thing. True, we lead in areas that make the country attractive to those looking for a better life. But it’s hard to see how more mass shootings than the number of days in a year fit with that ‘better life’ ideal.

America’s history of revolution, civil war, civil rights, stock market crashes and tech bubbles were previews to what’s being experienced now. As the back-stories are told it seems when we were more focused on ratings than on well-being, we became like a tree standing on the outside but dying inside.

Recently, the Syrian crisis became front and center. Some wanted America to offer refugee status. In 24 hours Congress got together to discuss putting a ‘pause’ on the refugee program. Whether the Bill made a difference is still debatable. So, what’s taking them so long to address senseless violence in America?

It’s hard to say there’s a common thread in all these events. Some point to domestic terrorism while others see radicalization attracting those who don’t feel like they fit-in or matter. So it might help to have a counter-radicalization effort to dispel propaganda with a new kind of powerful that’s ‘good enough.’

We increasingly live in a media-intensive world. The combo of social media and news media make it easier for people to project their reality. That reflects the culture of convenience today. So as everyday folks and public figures act shamelessly in rhetoric, they’ll be inciting those wanting to be the next Rambo.

We can safely say whether urban, suburban or rural, “if nothing changes in America, then nothing changes!” With a focus on ratings without well-being, we’ll have more senseless doings as human beings. If the harsh rhetoric doesn’t change, we’ll be telling it like it is without knowing what we’re dealing with.

Answer: Adele

Groove-tracks: All Star Tribute – “What’s Goin’ On” – https://youtu.be/TFvp2jwqoDk,

‘Empire’ Cast  – “Powerful” –  https://youtu.be/Gbejk8nd1jE