Truly, I did not think that the topic of my first “real” blog post would be about racism and violence but with the events this weekend in Charlottesville, VA that topic is weighing heavy on my heart and mind. These are my thoughts, feelings, and observations.
Many of my friends, acquaintances, and I are asking the question “how, in 2017, is this still happening?” Quite frankly, it’s still happening because we have yet to deal with the root causes and the institutionalized racism that keeps us where we are with people growing angrier and more disenfranchised. This latest incident in Charlottesville has yet to spark the level of outrage and action we should expect to see from our president. There are reports of counter-protesters having been beaten yards from the police station with no police involvement to stop the event.
My son is bi-racial. About a year ago there was another event that caused me to actually be grateful that he looks more like me (white) than his dad (black). The thought was unsolicited and passed through my mind in a flash. It shocked me a little bit but I didn’t try to justify it or think something different. I own that I had that thought and use it as fuel to action. No parent should have to fear for their child’s safety because of the color of their skin though it happens daily. A high school friend of mine recently stepped in to help a friends of her sons’ who is black. He had been stopped by the local police and the situation was escalating. This was a “good” kid who is in high school, plays sports, and is in general not a trouble-maker. My friend was fearful for the kid’s safety and said it was one of the most frightening situations she has encountered.
As a parent, I want my son to be able to go places and experience a multitude of things without the fear of being harassed or watched more closely because of the color of his skin. And he can do that. He is a skinny, tan kid with unruly curls and a happy smile. Parents of other races and religions want the same damn thing for their children and why should they not have it??
The Alt-Right, the KKK, and white supremacists who identify with other groups all seek to maintain this sense of control and power. We outnumber them – we have to ensure that we do not let their scare tactics and violence deter us from action and we must act. Silence is no longer acceptable as it shows consent. I will not consent to these people taking away my country.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela
TEACH AND LIVE LOVE – HATE WILL NOT WIN