SAY THEIR NAMES
I did not go. I wanted to go. I wanted to participate in the protest marches after the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. There were plenty of opportunities that I did not take. In my defense, since 2016 I have protested and marched several times: The Women’s Marches, March for our Lives ( for commonsense gun reform,) and another Chicago march against the squatter in the White House. Though I did not protest for black lives, I am proud (and worried for their safety) that nieces and nephews marched for Black Lives Matter.
Now, I cannot let the historical importance of the BLM protests and marches across the United States and the world go unnoticed in my blog. The events that unfolded are impressive in their scope and scale, and they continue. It is long overdue.
Let me state unequivocally, I believe that BLACK LIVES MATTER.
I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. I remember my shame and anger at current events as American citizens with different skin pigments fought for their equal rights. I remember my sadness at the way children were treated as they tried to integrate the schools in the south. I remember crying and not understanding when Martin Luther King was assassinated. I was so young and very naïve. But I had a moral sense of what was right, and what I was hearing on our little television during newscasts was not right and not fair, and often not fathomable.
We lived in a rural town with an extremely low population of BIPOC (Black and Indigenous Persons/People of color.) Perhaps because I read so many books, I had a different perspective of justice and a less bigoted attitude. I knew racism was horribly wrong despite others’ mindsets and conversations I may have heard around me. I had trouble watching and reading about slavery and the civil war eras. It hurt my heart to hear about what black people experienced and lived through. I realize that sounds privileged. I cannot imagine living in the fear and stress of being black in today’s society. I understand that sounds privileged. But I need to believe that my heart is in the right place.
I know I have much work to do. I am a “privileged” white woman of the later years of the boomer generation. (I was born at the end of the baby boomer era and am never sure how the birth of a child over 10 years later fell into the post war “boomer” category.) I believe I will stand up when and if I see someone victimized by a racist.
Throughout these past years, as people of color were killed by police, I was sad and angry. I did not do anything with these emotions though. Of that, I am ashamed and sorry.
Feeling sadness and anger and disgust and shame at so many murders of black people by the police is not enough. I am hopeful for immense and huge systemic change in our country. The year is 2020 and we are DECADES behind where we should be. There has been volumes written about what is going on today. So much has been said more eloquently and better expressed, and more relevant than my puny words can ever communicate.
I will do what I can to be the person my brain AND my heart want me to be. I hope you will join me.
For a link on what we can do to help:
Black Lives Matter
More helpful links for education and action:
As a postscript to this blog: I may have written something that is not true to my intention of not being racist. I apologize. Black Lives Matter.
And GTFO with any All Lives or Blue Lives matter Bull Shit. I cannot say it any better than the protest sign this little girl carries.
I love you and miss you. You know who you are.