This is not the post I originally had for today, but I have to speak out about the hate and racism that is going on in our country. It was sickening and heartbreaking watching the video of George Floyd, handcuffed, face down with an officer’s knee on his neck, begging for air. As George died, the officer sat with his hands in his pockets, unmoved by calls from bystanders to give him air.
I understand the rage. I want to help, but I’m only one person and an older white woman at that, what can I do?
My instinct is to go out and apologize to every black person I know and see, and apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way. It was uncomfortable, but I’ve approached a few people and said, “I’m so sorry for all the shit that is happening in our country. I just want you to know, I see you. You matter.” They said they appreciated it so I will continue to do that, as awkward as it is.
I’ve also been hearing how important it is to have everyone speak out and talk about it. Post it on your social media sites and let friends and family know that this is not okay. So that’s what I’m doing here. This is NOT okay.
My friend, Claire, and my Mom sent me a couple of videos and Facebook posts that I found profoundly moving so I’m sharing them with you.
The first two are by black males who describe what it’s like living with racism. Very powerful.
This one is a Facebook post, but so movingly written I wish everyone would read it. I’ve often said it’s the little things in life that are the most important. A smile, an act of kindness, being in nature, taking a walk in your neighborhood. This post shows how something so little that we all – as in all whites – take for granted is fear-inducing for this black man. This post allows you to step into his shoes, and it’s extremely uncomfortable there.
This third one is a song by a 12-year-old boy singing words no child should ever have to be seriously thinking about. This is America in the twenty-first century. Enough!
What else can we do? How about posting a sign that reads, “Hate Has No Home Here” in your front yard, in fact, let’s get one in every yard. You can buy one online or if you don’t have a yard, buy a sticker or window sign. Let’s spread the message that we will no longer accept hate.
Last, and extremely important, get out and VOTE! When you’re deciding who to vote for, think about this:
Vote for people who work to unite our country, not divide it with hate and fear. We’re all Americans who want the same thing but disagree on how to get it. That’s what democracy is about. We are not enemies. Don’t believe the haters. We need to stand united and not allow fear, hate, and anger to divide us.
One Race, HUMAN.