Like many of us, I am saddened by the outcome of the Grand Jury in Ferguson. Facebook and Twitter have been most active with outpourings of grief, anguish, disgust. My hope is that the conversations that happen virtually make their way into our communities in a form of action. I can appreciate the protests, but what I would like to see is more empathy, more compassion in the world.
One of the best ways to do that is to model this behavior for my children. Not easy to do when someone cuts me off while driving or jumps in front of me at the deli counter. But that's where this distrust starts. That's when we stop seeing people as people and start seeing them as other. I've tried to write about this subject and each time I get a little closer to what I truly mean.
I'm first-generation removed from the Civil Rights Movement; my kids are second generation. They've grown up in our "post-racial" (quotation marks to imply skepticism) society where a black man has been president almost all of their lives. It's hard to convey the concern I have for the well-being of my kids, as I'm sure it was difficult for my parents convening their concerns to me. I grew up in a trust-but-verify household. It's hard to embolden my kids to do that when they trust everyone. And they should, until someone gives them a reason not to trust.
Thanksgiving is upon us, so today and for as long as I can I living in the space of gratitude. I'm sending a little light and love into the world for those who are suffering. It is taking all of my strength to do so.
In thinking about Ferguson, I leave you with this round-up on readings from The Poetry Foundation:
Black Lives Matter: A Roundup of Worthy Reads. And from her collection of readings around the Web, a short film from Claudia Rankine's Citizen.