It’s that time of year again when kids return to their regular schedule as summer ends. It can be just as exciting (and a relief) for parents when kids are back in school. For some parents it’s about not having them get on their last nerve. For some kids it’s about not having parents get…ok you get the point.
This time of the year isn’t only about school essentials. It’s also become a time for the new iPhone buzz. People get excited to hear what’s in, what’s out and what’s hot! Ever since smart phones came on the scene, techies and regular folks wait in long lines to get a hands-on look at devices billed as a ‘pocket gizmo’ or the ‘next big thing.’
So, what if we did with our civics the way tech firms have done with their gadgets? What would happen if we could add ‘smarts’ to our social/cultural space the way ‘smarts’ got added to these devices? We would likely get a rush of breakout stories that celebrate ‘hometown strong living’ and major community comebacks that’s for real.
It’s hard to give the full extent of American history in one session. But a few points stand out as more than just coincidence. For example, take the 400-yr ‘Black to America’ story starting in 1619, it proved two things: They were able to overcome the struggle to get their breakthrough. And they were able to build excellence to live their best life. The collective story is one of #CitizenShining moments achieved by ‘strong citizens.’
A different version of this are the community comeback stories across the country. Some are known as ‘Jersey Strong’ or ‘Boston Strong’ or ‘Parkland Strong’ or ‘Vegas Strong’ or ‘El Paso Strong.’ These sentiments came out of frustration turned into positive action, again by ‘strong citizens.’ But why does it have to take natural disaster, tragedy or hate-triggered events to celebrate a civic spirit in culture and community the way we celebrate a winning spirit in sports and biz?
Maybe if we could just find a way to add ‘smarts’ to our social/cultural space, it would do for civics what happened to TVs and cell phones when ‘smarts’ got added to those devices. It’s also possible we would go from normal civics to ‘woke civics.’ This would then help us see a better picture of the issues for a higher level of citizenship.
That’s what will happen when we See America in Color (SAIC) as with TVs and cell phones. The first ‘smarts’ added to TVs made us go from seeing things only in ‘black & white’ to seeing them in color. SAIC will cause us to see the issues of our time not simply in a two-tone way but in a more colorful, multi-cultural way. Plus, to fully appreciate ‘people of color’ as well as have a ‘multi-color’ view, it makes sense to go back and see how those ‘black & white’ issues came about.
In the case of cell phones, the main ‘smarts’ added was an Operating System (OS) which made multi-function tasks possible. Similarly, SAIC represents a way to reboot, update or introduce a new OS to our civics. When we add ‘smarts’ to our civics, whether through social studies in education, social media or social issues in the public space, we’ll see things in a more new-school kind of way.
Here we are 50+ years since adding ‘smarts’ to TVs and we’ve seen the picture-quality improve in major ways. A TV is no longer just a ‘black & white’ box. It’s joined a group known as Smart Appliance. However, when it comes to civic/social issues we’re still trying to get a better picture or still trying to improve race relations in major ways. That’s why SAIC isn’t just about upgrading the optics, it’s also about game-changing the civics. It might not make us all rule the world as citizens, but it will certainly give more meaning to the phrase ‘We the People.’
So now that the next iPhone will soon be on sale, just think about how the device might have a new look, feel and smarts. These factor-in to how it helps us work better and look cool. The same is true as we begin to See America In Color. In one sense, SAIC might help us work better and look cool as citizens. But beyond that, it will function like an ‘OS’ to help us blaze a trail in roots and culture as we educate, create, elevate and update our civics.
Tracks: 2 Chainz ft. Ariana Grande – Rule the World – https://youtu.be/zh4J-yW3LHw
Kindred the Family Soul ft. Freeway – All My People – https://youtu.be/7q5xc4QLab4