I Don't Know What to Say, But I'm Saying it Anyway
We are a nation in crisis.
Systemic injustice and rampant racism, which have been boiling for decades, centuries, reached a tipping point this past week. Heaped on top of pandemic chaos caused by job loss, food and fund shortages, quarantine, family problems, isolation, and fear, our society is reeling.
How can I say anything of value?
I was in high school when integration was enforced in Louisiana. African Americans students were forced to bus across town to a white high school, my high school, and they didn’t want to be there.
I felt their pain then. I feel their pain now.
The following year, we were the first senior class to open our dances to all students, not just the white ones. During my adult life, I’ve been blessed with one close African American friend. Our children grew up together and our adult children still call her Mama.
I feel her pain now and I am so sorry. Sorry for the deep racism embedded in our society. Sorry for the indignities her husband and sons have had to endure. Sorry for the injustice and closed doors she has borne because she is a black woman.
Am I culpable?
Have I failed to act?
I see now that passivity is my battleground. I don’t know what to say, but I’m saying it anyway. Will it come out all wrong? Maybe, but I hope not.
Our national pot has boiled because of an outrageous combination of factors, but the root issues are clear. Prejudice, injustice, fear, bitterness and passivity are central problems here – sins birthed in the human heart and only played out through our societal structures.
Change begins with me.