Monday, January 19, 2015

Bending Towards Justice

I don't always have a lot to say about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It never passes by unnoticed by me, but there isn't always something for me to write about, really. After all, honestly, I am white, and live in a pretty homogeneous community, culturally.

But this year, as a citizen of the U.S., I have had plenty to think about and consider on the subject of what used to be called race relations in our country. And I'll tell you what, I'm so grateful that my daughter is not old enough to ask me questions about the news (because we don't watch it). Because I don't know how to explain the current state of affairs in our country.

How do you explain all the people that were killed this year by the very people who wear badges claiming that their goal is service and protection? How do you explain that while I tell Maeve that she can always, always ask a policeman for help or directions, other parents are having a very different conversation with their children about how to act around an officer? I honestly don't even know where to start.

I think that the beginning to all of this is my admission that I do not understand it, that I cannot know what it feels like to have that second, more ominous conversation. I do not know and I cannot. But I do know it shouldn't have to be that way. I do know that, as Dr. King put it, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. However, if people like myself, who care about justice, do nothing, then how shall that arc be bent?

I'm not sure quite what to do, but I will start by showing this to my daughter, and beginning the conversation.

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