Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Chariots Part I: At the Marathon...

Its the big Marathon, the mother of all marathons. The air is electrified as excitement ripples through. The challenge, the potential, and the hype. It's all there. The runners are ready. It's a balanced bunch, a few unfit here and there, but overall, a rather competitive field. The field of runners is separated, but no one is paying attention yet. Until of course a cordon is established and a small portion of the participants find themselves behind it. The gun goes off, and so do the runners. But, not all of them. The bunch behind the massive barrier can't go. They are rearing to join the rest of the runners, but they can't. They fret, they shout, and they scream. They cannot phantom any real reason why they can't race, but they are unable to budge the wall screening them, preventing them, from entering the race of their life.

As hope dims, and the remaining runners escape their eyesight, far, far away from them, someone starts to move the cordon. It has been a while...most runners are more than half way through. The bunch isn't paying much attention anymore. So, they find themselves a bit startled when the wall is suddenly gone. But the bunch is really not moving. Yes, a few dart off, but by and large, most are dragging. A voice that seems somewhat foreign screams to the bunch, shouting in a rather patronizing voice, "GO, what are you waiting for?". The voice continues to scream, reminding this bunch that the rules are the same now, it is equal opportunity from hereon. So, "go and win if you really want to", instead of being truthful and saying, "go win if you can". The voice is almost condescending; not almost, it is condescending. The marathon is coming to its closure. The bunch left behind is now jogging, not quite running, but some are hoping against hope for a miracle. But its getting too late for most, the unabated runners have almost made it.

Then from nowhere, voices of courage rise up, a few bring chariots to the race, with horses that are eager to run. They call to the 'left-behinders' to hitch a ride, only to catch up to their rightful place in the race, even if not all the way; just by a bit. Yet, these courageous bodies are mocked, ridiculed, and insulted. They are called cheats, they are accused of being 'unfair'. They are told that the late start that this bunch faced was history, it was time to be 'fair' now. Others more brazen mumbled that this bunch wouldn't have made it anyway, they weren't 'designed' to win. Many more felt this way but were afraid to speak. Perhaps they failed to see the failings of their own 'design' or more specifically their own 'programming'.

The Chariots Part II: Immigrants and African-Americans
The Chariots Final: Immigrants at the Marathon