Yes, I know – this kneeling thing is getting crazy, right? Now people are burning their Nikes because they think that white people are the only ones who get to protest peacefully. No, seriously. Why else are they frothing at the mouth? I don’t see any other color skinned people saying it’s a crime, and they should be fired. But the most hurtful thing is for the families of those boys and young men who were shot by policemen because the cops were scared and fired guns at their unarmed bodies. Some of those victims were mentally ill, some were doing something illegal, and some were just in the wrong place at the wrong time – but none posed a threat to the officers who killed them – except in the officers’s heads – because they were scared and reacted with their guns instead of their brains. But their brains had already been wired to equate black men = crime = gun s= shooting = death. Or maybe they didn’t even see these people as human, because real racists don’t even consider that these men were sons-brothers-fathers-husbands. They were black. So they fired. And one man knew he had the eyes of the nation on him for some instants; so he knelt. He didn’t shout, he didn’t break anything, he didn’t even try to organize anything — he just kneeled down and refused to stand for a national anthem that didn’t sing for him anymore. The music only played for a certain type of person – the white, affluent, healthy person.
There is racism all around me. Some of the most virulent I ever heard came from a family member. He said, and I quote, “I won’t watch TV shows with black people in them.” This person is dead. I don’t like to speak ill of the dead – he was a loving father, a good husband – and a rabid racist. I didn’t like him. I didn’t like talking to him. When he died, I found it hard to make my voice sound sad. But his family carries on the flame of his rascim. It’s hard cutting family out – like trees, families have branches and roots that twine and intertwine. So today, when one of my family members posted a FB meme that was clearly racist, I had to comment. I said my piece. I won’t be quiet just because it’s part of my family tree. I don’t think cutting the branches off is a solution. I am hoping to heal that worm-eaten wood if possible.