Miss Sophia’s Blues

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE The Color Purple. For a number of reasons, the book, movie, and play resonate with me. Miss Celie is never far from my thoughts, but Miss Sophia has been the subject of my thoughts the last few days. Specifically, that scene where she comes storming through the corn field and yells at Celie, “You told Harpo to beat me!”

That accusation rings in my mind. “You told Harpo to beat me”. To be fair, Celie is also being abused. For as long as she can remember, she has known nothing other than abuse. Of course, her advice to a young man would be to abuse his wife. To her mind, that’s the way things should be, right? But Sophia shows her another way: I loves Harpo. God knows I do, but I’ll kill him dead before I let him or anybody beat me.

But Celie doesn’t get it. She has been too deeply conditioned. Her response: Sometimes my husband get on me so bad I hurt all over, but then I just talk with my old Maker. This life don’t last forever. Heaven last always.

That’s when Sophia gives her the best advice ever: What you oughtta do is bash Mister’s head open, and think on heaven later.

That’s where we are in America right now. Black people are Miss Sophia, and she has had her fill. The funny thing is how many people, black, white, and otherwise, are willing to play Miss Celie’s part in this moment. Please understand, Celie means well. She does not have ill intent at all, but her trauma has tainted her response. Because she accepts pain as an essential part of her world, she thinks everyone else should too.

The problem is that her good intentions only add to the abuse. This is the same for so many folks who have such good intentions.

For example: Doctor King would never…

(You told Harpo to beat me)

I don’t see color

(You told Harpo to beat me)

We live in a post-racial society

(You told Harpo to beat me)

Nelson Mandela didn’t go to jail for this

(You told Harpo to beat me)

Destroying neighborhoods is no way to protest

(You told Harpo to beat me)

Whether you know it or not friends, your good intentions are paving our road to Hell.

Bottom Line: In the battle between abusers and the abused, make sure you know what side you’re on. Also: As much as I love Miss Celie, I’m pretty sure I’m Miss Sophia.

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Aaron Scott

Aaron Scott

Actor, Singer, Writer, Comedian, Thrower of Shade and Mazel Tov Cocktails, Snatcher of Souls, Teller of Ugly Truths, Drinker of Beer, and Talker of Shit