Tuesday, November 25, 2014

From my Heart

When I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to be a very hard day for so many.

The very least of whom are the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri.

And, certainly for the family of Michael Brown.

How I wish I could wrap them close and make things better for them.

But, of course, I can't. No one can. They'll live the rest of their days missing their son.

I grew up in a racially divided town in the 60s.

The memories I have of those summers we spent under martial law with the National Guard living in tents on our school grounds are a large part of what makes me the person I am today.

But.   I'm a white girl.

I had absolutely no concept of how the African American families in my hometown of Cambridge, MD felt, or what sadness and anger they must have carried in their hearts.

I thought all that was behind us.

So, so naive.

The anger and the sadness is alive and well - as is the ignorance that breeds racism

What can one person do?

What can I do?

The one thing I know I cannot do is stay silent.

Today I have spent the day thinking back to the things I witnessed as a teenager in Cambridge, including the black community being angry enough to burn down a section of their own community after a speech being given by H. Rap Brown while he stood on top of a car. When the fires started breaking out, the town fire department, run by volunteers, afraid of the possibility of snipers, refused to go in to put out those fires.

What never occurred to me back then before all this happened, but became a part of something that lived in my heart and in my mind, and does even now is why was there a separate community for Cambridge's black citizens? Why was there a separate school for the children? Why did they, along with the white citizens who believed in their fight, have to fight for basic civil rights in the first place?

Because of the color of their skin???

Does that make even one iota of sense???

And what in God's name has happened to those basic rights today?  Those rights some of us were naive enough to believe we had won?

Anyone who actually believes we live in a Post Racial America is, I believe, a fool.

No comments: