Happy MLK Day, everyone! Let me take this opportunity to comment on all the racial division out there, share some eye-opening experiences I was part of, and inspire everyone to live by the words of Dr. Bronner’s. I have been disappointed when artists and musicians have abrasively shared their political thoughts (I’m sure I have been guilty of this too); like "Oh God why are you forcing me to associate your music with your shitty views?!" But really, is this simple message of oneness pushing it too far?
Have you ever read the profound wisdom inscribed on a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap? Up till recently, I never took the time to; just assuming it to list ingredients and how-tos.
However, on studying my bottle of spicy peppermint, I came across a quote by Booker T. Washington (a former slave). His words are a perfectly soothing commentary for the world today- most especially in America.
“I’ve never stooped so low as to hate any man! For I’ve learned that in the long run, all mankind needs-wants-loves whatever good work you’ve done! Regardless of your race, color, nationality, or religion.”
That quote is just one bit of the bottle’s awesomeness. It goes on to straight-up preach a message of unity amongst us- a value we’re allowing to slip through our fingers.
During our family trip to Europe last summer, we met a lady who was babysitting a young boy in a park in Amsterdam, and had a rather interesting conversation about the race issue. She was born in Africa and immigrated to Amsterdam as a child; learning about the Dutch masters, multiple languages, and picking up calligraphy-like handwriting script (she wrote down her number). In her opinion- and a seemingly popular Dutch worldview- the color of the skin is completely irrelevant; a person should be judged only by how good or bad they are. She seemed appalled by the degree we allow color to separate us in America. Now we all know this; or pretend to- but at the same time there is an overwhelming degree of white-shaming, and white guilt out there. What would our Dr. Bronner’s soap say? What would the Dutch nanny say? WE ARE ALL ONE.
Why is this such a hard concept in America? Why is there so much race-baiting and hate? This brings to mind a recent trip to Los Angeles, and of a story which is going viral right now. On leaving the LA with a weird route I had navigated, we drove through the inner-city. We saw some people shouting some Biblical-sounding stuff, and a camera set up. Our interest was peaked and so we got out (though I was somewhat skeptical as they sounded a little too angry for comfort). I’ll leave you to research the group, as I’m sure many of you already are (surrounding all the hype based on a partial clip of a video they took in DC). Basically, I’m pretty glad I brought along my giant hound, who remained very polite but is still fierce, as the white-hate that the group was preaching was a tad disconcerting. My partner was making an effort to share the positive message of unity and agreeing that much of our world’s history has indeed been obscured- but I wonder how much of an impact his words had. Peace, we want PEACE! As is often the case in such situations, I remained silent, preferring to reflect and ponder for a while.