Let's talk about race and bias
I am going to talk to my boys today about what happened to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile because my friends are having conversations with their children about how to survive when an officer pulls them over. I want them to understand the fear of injustice and worse, death, that black families endure. They need to understand. It is the least I can do. Bias: unreasonably hostile feelings or opinions about a social group; prejudice:
Can we discuss our justice system and race targeting to try and create greater understanding and change? Can we lead with compassion? Can we comfort those scared and hurting? YES WE CAN!
My friend posted this yesterday:
"It is the obligation of parents of children of color to explain this. We must talk openly, honestly, and often to keep them as safe as possible. And, it is the duty of parents of white/light complected/white passing children to do the same so that there is a possibility of change in the future. People of color have shouldered this burden alone for too long. It's time that accountability for the truth be shared. " Love and respect - a fellow Mom
My other friend told me this morning through tears that she had to have another hard conversation with her oldest children this morning about what has happened to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
This has to change. This has to change. This has to change. This has to change. This has to change.
A Brave And Startling Truth - Poem by Maya Angelou
We, this people, on a small and lonely planet Traveling through casual space Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns To a destination where all signs tell us It is possible and imperative that we learn A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it To the day of peacemaking When we release our fingers From fists of hostility And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean When battlefields and coliseum No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters Up with the bruised and bloody grass To lie in identical plots in foreign soil
When the rapacious storming of the churches The screaming racket in the temples have ceased When the pennants are waving gaily When the banners of the world tremble Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders And children dress their dolls in flags of truce When land mines of death have been removed And the aged can walk into evenings of peace When religious ritual is not perfumed By the incense of burning flesh And childhood dreams are not kicked awake By nightmares of abuse
When we come to it Then we will confess that not the Pyramids With their stones set in mysterious perfection Nor the Gardens of Babylon Hanging as eternal beauty In our collective memory Not the Grand Canyon Kindled into delicious color By Western sunsets
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji Stretching to the Rising Sun Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor, Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace We, this people on this mote of matter In whose mouths abide cankerous words Which challenge our very existence Yet out of those same mouths Come songs of such exquisite sweetness That the heart falters in its labor And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet Whose hands can strike with such abandon That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness That the haughty neck is happy to bow And the proud back is glad to bend Out of such chaos, of such contradiction We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
When we come to it We, this people, on this wayward, floating body Created on this earth, of this earth Have the power to fashion for this earth A climate where every man and every woman Can live freely without sanctimonious piety Without crippling fear
When we come to it We must confess that we are the possible We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world That is when, and only when We come to it.