I find it both criminal and heartbreaking that over five years have gone by since I first shared this post and that things have exploded into the current state of affairs. My son is relieved that I’m so far away as he knows I would be on the frontlines with the protesters. We are long past due for the pendulum to swing and this time to go in the direction that is needed. Let it swing for love, understanding and compassion.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other ‘isms’ grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class, or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity.” – Roger Ebert
“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” – Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird (Character – Scout)
“The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.” – Tim Holden
Yes, that is how
They do it
All of them
The black people I know
They put on their pants
First one leg and then
They hold down jobs – frequently
More than one – to survive
Blacks often are paid less
They eat, sleep, and shop
Cooking meals for family
Inviting friends in
Taking a hot dish
To someone whose been ill
They work in hospitals, search and
Rescue, give to charity,
Donate blood – you may have
It in you now
In a crisis – do you refuse?
They are expected to remain calm
As one more is profiled
Gunned down, targeted
Until the scapegoat paradigm
Chooses to target someone else
They read books, write poems
Dream dreams, large and small
They reach out their hands
In pain and in friendship
THE BLACK PEOPLE I KNOW
Bisous et solidarité,
8 thoughts on “I can’t breathe – T.B.P.I.K.”
It’s hard to conceive that you wrote this post over five years ago. Watching the news has become unbearable, yet I don’t feel right just sitting here in my little oasis of calm.
I’m trying to understand why it would surprise you that I wrote it that long ago. Yes, the news from there is beyond appauling. Try being here and having to explain… and in French. You do understand why I felt the need to re-post it.
It perfectly expresses what is happening right now. There are so many good people trying to rise up and make their voices heard to stop it and it just keeps coming.
It has always been coming. As a boomer, I’ve witnessed much from my earliest days. While the other kids were reading Charlotte’s Web, I was reading To Kill A Mockingbird and Black Like Me. My family of origin had a long pedigree in hate. I just never could fit in and was condemned for it. I was “too sensitive” and a fool. Back then I didn’t have the word for being an Empath so being weird just had to suffice. I soaked up what I saw and felt. An empath absorbs the pain around them. Black Like Me helped me to see that what I had observed in a small California town was not isolated to that one place. Liz, forgive me, I can get up on that old soapbox a bit too easily at times.
I’m a boomer as well. My dad was active in the Civil Rights movement as a priest, but I don’t recall his ever actually explaining racism to my brother and me when we were growing up–or if he did, I couldn’t comprehend it. These were people who needed help, so he gave it.
Nobody explainted to me outside of what I read and what I observed. My kids paid the price being dragged to demonstrations but those where not like the ones today. I never accounted the “Storm Troopers” until a G7 demonstration in Sacramento several years back and that wasn’t as bad as what is going on now but it certainly was part of the evolution to how things are.
We are ALL part of the same race: The Human Race. We should start acting like it.
Imagine… all the verses that could be added to Lennon’s most famous song.