When I was a college undergrad, the expression on the face of the Mona Lisa portrait was a hot topic; was it a smile, or a frown?
The incomparable Nat King Cole, subsequently, recorded a hit song titled, Mona Lisa.
Last week, contemporary American society had a Mona Lisa moment when, on the one hand, an African American teenager escaped being shot by an angry white homeowner who thought he was a burglar and, on the other, the first African American president of the United States was among the 1,500 invited guests to the funeral of the beloved Barbara Bush.
Which of the two scenes more accurately reflects race relations in contemporary American society?
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Having missed his school bus, the Rochester Hills, Michigan, teenager attempted to walk to school, following the school bus route, but he got lost. He, therefore, went to a nearby house for directions to the school, but the homeowners yelled at him and went for their gun.
While the husband angrily began to shoot at the fleeing teenager, his wife continued to yell racial slurs. Fortunately, the husband was either too angry to shoot straight, or he was an inaccurate shooter, or both.
Obviously, American society is trending toward implementing The American’s Creed, but all too often vestiges from an inglorious past in race relations keep reminding us that we have a long way to go to achieve full implementation.
Meanwhile, we will continue to have Mona Lisa moments.
Whittington B. Johnson, Kendall