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Preparing for unreachable heights

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Did I read it right? An item flashed on TV the other day said that Joe Biden is not popular with black Americans. However, I did not see any follow-up story explaining why that is so. In this day and age, I would think that color bias is already a thing of the past among the people of the United States whose country had always been proud of being “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. Nowhere in that popular song titled “Old Black Joe” is that noted also. Could there be something reminiscent of Old Black Joe happening there lately?

***

These thoughts came to me after seeing an item on TV saying that polls taken lately show that Biden is not popular with the black Americans. That is surprising, because one would think that the reason why he won over Donald Trump was the belief that he had less biases towards the colored members of his constituency. I guess he has a lot of making up to those who think that way, if he expects to win second term. I think he was lucky to have won the election when the headlines then were full of stories about how a white policeman was accused of causing the death of a black man by kneeling on his neck.

***

I’m afraid I had not followed up that case as closely as I could have. But I believe the cop could not have escaped being penalized for it because someone in the vicinity was able to take a video of the incident and the whole world saw, and heard, the poor guy gasping “I can’t breathe”. Who would ever think that such biases still existed in what their anthem describes beautifully as “the land of the free and the home of the brave”?

***

I hope that by this time our people in this country have already shed off their biases against vaccination. I know that earlier, many refused to undergo it because of a false belief that the contents of the shot could cause one to get the virus instead. But now I think our people, especially in the cities, have accepted the fact that there is no way they can avoid infection, except by undergoing vaccination. Those who still have doubts should be reminded of how countries, including ours, were able to stop former killer diseases after the introduction of vaccines against them.

***

It has not been a year yet, but it looks as if the American people – many of them, I hear – are disappointed in the president they had elected. I bet those loyalists of Donald Trump still cannot accept the fact the mild-looking Biden could beat the more flamboyant Donald Trump, who seemed to be unbeatable earlier. Well Biden was elected, and he still has several years to woo, not only his former voter, but even those who were Trump supporters. That is the way of politics, as we Pinoys also know.

***

As if the COVID pandemic were not enough to diver people’s minds from other concerns, there is now a developing tension between China and Taiwan with the former reportedly trying to access the smaller country. Well, the Taiwanese have learned to love their freedom and, apparently, are not willing to yield as easily as that. It has been rumored that the United States will come to the aid of Taiwan in case, as the saying goes, “Push comes to shove”. What is to be feared, however, is “shove” actually takes place, because other countries, the big ones, that is, may take sides and we may see another World War in this generation!

***

But such developments are not the only things we should pray against, because our own country, despite our peace-loving citizens, could be caught in the crossfire. If we had been thinking that the COVID pandemic is the only big problem this generation has to conquer, we have to broaden our outlook and pray, as well as urge our leaders to be very circumspect and not take sides if it can be helped. There are still millions of our citizens who have gone through world wars and are expressing grave concerns about the possibility of another one.

***

But something is happening that may increase our worries in the coming days. Have you noticed that prices of gasoline, diesel and even kerosene are inching up almost weekly? Will the time come when only millionaires can afford to maintain gasoline or diesel-gulping vehicles? Does this mean we may have to seek other modes of transportation soon? There used to be time when our scientists were trying to trace what they believed were source of oil. But nothing came out of them, and now we should be thinking of alternatives for transportation. Is it time for us to be rearing horses and acquiring pedicabs before gas and oil prices reach the “unreachable” heights?*

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