Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Can we move forward after being pushed 1,000 steps backward?

I have always believed that we should teach our children to have hope in humanity, that every person has some good within them, even if it is far below the surface. I have always believed that we should teach them that things will work together for the greater good and that, as time passes, the world will become a better place.  
In my mind, the promise of change seemed like a glowing object that was visible, just on the other side of the bridge. That was until July 13, 2013 when it was announced that George Zimmerman was found "not-guilty" of the murder of Trayvon Martin. I never believed the jury would find him guilty of murder, but knowing that there was a lesser charge on the table, I held out hope for Zimmerman to be found guilty of something. I guess that was just me being an optimist. After the announcement, I was crushed. As I got ready for church the next morning, I stopped and sobbed. The bridge I had been waiting to cross was no longer solid stone, cement, or steel, it had become a flimsy rope bridge across an impossibly wide canyon and the rope had just been hacked. We just fell off the cliff.
Where is my hope in humanity, in unity now? What do I tell my sons now? What do we tell our black boys now?
"Son, be sure not to run out of your 'whiteface' makeup before you leave the house. Also, don't forget your Justin Bieber wig. Always be prepared before walking down the street, my heart would break if you were to get shot. I love you, Son."

Is this what it has come to? When will we (blacks) be safe walking down the street? We've gone from fear of getting caught by the slave masters to fear of being caught by the lynch mob, to fear of walking in our own neighborhoods! Where do we go from here? When and where do we get to act like white people? When will the time come that we can simply wave to any police officer, or walk past the neighborhood watchman without being followed? When will we just look like we belong?
Maybe we need to revisit reparations. Can black folks get reservations like the Native Americans? Isn't there enough soil that contains our blood to at least set aside a state where all of us can live?/ I realize this idea is not politically correct, but I'm thinking about my kids. After all this time, after the end of slavery, the end of Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, a black president, shouldn't my sons truly be able to do and be whatever they want without worrying about being able to walk freely in their own neighborhood?
Well, shouldn't they?

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