It’s been a long few months. Exhausting, emotional, trying months.
Everyone has been stressed and on edge.
And then we saw that video. That awful truth. We watched as George Floyd was murdered, in cold blood, while other officers just watched and did nothing. That was the the last straw. After so many years and so many people who have died, this was clearly seen and its visceral shock woke us all up. We cannot claim things are all right, when we can see that they are not.
I’m not usually a political person. But I care deeply about human rights. And as the daughter of Dr. P, civil rights activist, math professor and photographer, I grew up on the campus of the historically black college, Fisk University in the 1970s. I was the only white person on the bus in 1971 when my neighborhood integrated the suburbs. (Imagine the protestor’s surprise when I got off that bus at age 7). I went to hear Angela Davis, Dick Gregory, Nikki Giovanni, and Alex Haley (who also spoke at Pearl High, my alma mater). I was in an interesting place during interesting times.
Things weren’t all pretty and I was not unscathed. But I saw the racism in the system and I saw how my friends and schools were not seen or heard. I left the South for that reason. California isn’t perfect, either…
I am a quiet person who is not an activist, but I must speak the truth when I see it. When the same situation repeats itself…over and over again…. it is time to change the situation. Too many people have died.
I don’t condone violence of any kind. I am not justifying the riots or looting. I think the message of the protests is being lost in the chaos. Let us rise above anger and see beyond differences. Let’s vote with clear eyes and our consciences for policies and officials who will promote fairness and kindness. Let’s stop the vitriol and rhetoric and speak plainly, listen with our hearts, and act with love.
And vote. Don’t forget to vote. Tell your friends to vote. Nag your family. If we don’t vote, nothing will really change.