Even old, white women like me are called to speak about injustice. Silence is giving permission to seventeen-year-olds with guns to kill, rogue policemen to shoot first, Christians to hate rather than love, and the weak to follow rather than find their inner conscience.
Two unconnected stories have come to mind during the past couple days. The first is about nine-year-old granddaughter, Tiffany, and the second is about my father.
Tiffany and her brother were visiting us for a couple weeks. Tiffany was happily twirling in my dining room. Then it happened, an antique goblet fell to the floor and shattered. Tiffany looked at me with fear and sadness in her eyes rather than with that magical sparkle of joy from a few moments earlier.
I told Tiffany that people were more important than things. A hug and a little cleanup erased the pain of the moment.
Although this part of the story as little to do with my point of my story, I have to share. A couple hours later we were sitting at the dining table and Tiffany kept rocking her chair up on two legs and bouncing it against the china cabinet. When I told her to stop because she might break something, she said, “Grandma, you said people are more important than things!” A wholly different conversation followed. Even today, she has strong opinions, a hearty spirit and much love to give. Great adult and parent.
A former minister’s daughter was raped and murdered after going to a bar with friends. So brutal.
While visiting my parents later in the week, my pious, judgmental father said, “Well, it wouldn’t have happened if SHE had not been where SHE was not supposed to be.”
If you know me, you can imagine where our conversation went as I expounded on victim blaming.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
I have listened to speakers say (paraphrasing), “If they wouldn’t have been out after curfew, it wouldn’t have happened.” “If they wouldn’t protest, the looters wouldn’t steal and start fires.” Then there is Trump who says Biden will bring death and destruction, as if 180,000 unnecessary deaths and the greater racial strife he has incited is not enough hell on earth for one man to create as President.
Protesters are not looters. Stop confusing two separate groups of people. Free speech is an American right. Arrest the looters and leave protesters alone. As far as I am concerned, people who refuse to separate the two groups are doing so deliberately because they believe things (buildings) are more important than people, specifically black people.
Anyone who believes that a wall is more valuable than the lives of children locked in cages at our border has zero respect from me. Such cruelty!
Victim blaming is demoralizing our country. A person is not guilty of a crime because they are black rather than white – not on the streets, not in their opinions, not in any just society. Victim blaming because someone was in a conversation with the police or on the streets protesting is not acceptable. Know the circumstances. Certainly, whether before or after curfew, a seventeen-year-old hater does not have the right to kill other citizens.
I know this will not convince one hater to love or one Christian to speak the language of brotherhood. I simply had to say these truths because sharing creates positive bonds of strength in the thinking, loving community.
I am going to continue to love and to speak, because our silence gives the Trumpers their greatest victory.