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Can This Be Real? By Mark Lampkin

The title of this article is taken from the title of a very popular song from 1974 by the singing group The Natural Four. As was the norm for many of the songs from that era, it was about a man espousing his love and affections for the woman whom he hopes to persuade that he’s The One:

I’ve always been the kind of guy, who could handle almost anything,

I’ve had money and cars, expensive girls in bars, and I’ve always had my own song to sing,

Aw, but you came along changed the sound of my song,

And I’ve never, ever felt this way before, tell me Can this be REAL?”

Fast forward to the year 2021, a year that most of us hoped would be a relief from the craziness of 2020…and yet, in the past few weeks, we have seen Americans get overly excited about the NASA rover that has landed on the planet Mars, the Governor of Texas’ decision to “open up” his state to pre-COVID activities with no mask mandates, and the kicker … the My Pillow CEO praying at the CPAC event, asking God to bless his business and to bring Donald Trump back as the POTUS, while more than 1000 people in attendance also hold their pillows and pray.


We have lost more than 500,000 American souls to COVID-19 during the past 12 months. We have vaccines being distributed and put into the arms of our citizens at a rate that might get us to a “safety zone” by the end of Summer this year. We have Congress members who tried holding up a 2nd stimulus package that would put $1400 into the homes of families who are in dire need. Desperately needed dollars being stalled by people who are likely millionaires and “earn” $174,000 annually to do the bidding of the people of their districts.


I wonder what it will take to change, like the lyrics of the song I have listed above, the minds and hearts of the people of this “ever-evolving-Nation.” The days of white men calling the shots is on the endangered species list, and they are grasping in any and every way, legal and not, to hold on to their power. Every dying species will do all that it can to survive. I get it.

We, The People, have no time to relax nor reminisce. The stakes are too high, and the prospects of a future too fragile, where Black and Brown men and women, LGBTQ persons and yes, even white men and women, can shape an America that lives up to her creed of the Preamble of the Constitution;

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect unionestablish justiceinsure domestic tranquilityprovide for the common defensepromote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posteritydo ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Can This Be REAL?