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Rise Up: Small Things, Great Love

September 4, 2015


And Ferguson.  And Baltimore.  And on.

How much longer?

People of color in this country live in a system, a culture, that says their stories and their lives are worth less than those of white people.

It is unacceptable.

(If you don’t believe that there is a problem with racism in America, see these excellent articles here, here from an amazing Bangladeshi-Australian stand-up comedian, here from the NYTimes, here, and here.)

But what do we do?

Then “Blackbird” came on the radio.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

I am done being afraid of offending people.  I can speak truth with love, but I must speak for justice.  To say “black lives matter” does not reduce the value of any other person of any other color.  To be an ally does not have to be anti-law-enforcement.

Each one of us needs to be willing to deeply examine our own stories:  our histories, our biases, our actions.

Each of us needs to perform some deep self-examination.  Look hard at the dark places in ourselves that we don’t want to admit exist.  They exist.  We’re human.  Then we can fix the brokenness in our assumptions, in our expectations, and heal what divides us.

Because we can heal.  “That’s just the way people are” is such a specious argument.  If that were true, I’d still be wearing a corset and my education would consist of learning embroidery and the harpischord.

Luis Valdez wrote “In Lak’ech” based on a Mayan poem (which Arizona’s education department says it’s illegal to recite in schools…but yeah, racism is still not a problem in this country…):

I can do small things with great love.  I can use my voice in this tiny corner of the interwebs to say “Enough.”  I will have hard conversations with people who disagree with me.

Because we live life in the chaos.  Not in the either/or.  We can better than this.

Our country was built to be better than this.


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