Hope by Vicki Carter
Someone wrote a letter to the local paper saying that current events were making us all weary. He meant that he was weary of the Black Lives Matter movement and all the protests.
I’m not weary. Are you?
I’d venture to say that some of us are hopeful.
When I see young people, like my son and his friends in New York City, making their voices heard, willing to risk being attacked and jailed (and some were), I am hopeful.
When I see racially mixed groups in Bryan College Station peacefully protesting together, I am hopeful.
I have been aware of this struggle all my life. As a first grader, I sat at the back of the (almost empty) school bus with the only black student I had seen in our district. I didn’t realize nobody was forcing her to sit back there. She was a lovely and dignified high school student who probably wished this tiny chatterbox of a girl would leave her alone so she could study.
Over the past few years, as I have read and learned more, and listened to my son who is committed to ending policing, I started realizing that slavery never ended. It just keeps evolving.
But I am hopeful that a lot of people are starting to realize this as well.
My son says the police are doing exactly what they were designed to do in this country. They are rounding up black people.
He’s right. They did it when slaves escaped. They did it when southern states needed “criminal” labor, such as black loiterers, to replace emancipated slaves. They did it to fuel the prison industrial complex. And they did it just to enforce white supremacy.
I’m sorry some of my white neighbors are weary of the problems of black people. They have given voice to some of their own problems lately. They were not able to eat out or get their hair cut. They don't want to be told to wear a mask if they don't want to. I hope the world is watching the difference between the Black Lives Matter movement and the reactions from privileged people who can’t stand to be inconvenienced by a world pandemic.
And if the world is watching, I hope minds and hearts will continue to be changed. Please let people understand the difference between human rights, life and death, and the slight loss of the privileges that usually come with white supremacy.
Privileges for white people were restored really quickly. But the Black Lives Matter movement will almost certainly have to be in it for the long haul.
Still, I believe there's hope.
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