I’m on my patio this evening well past the time when most folks are in bed. I’ve been thinking about my peaceful life, while listening to the vehicles on the nearby highway droning like a million bees interfering in my solitary thoughts. While the droning is ongoing, my mind causes the insistent sound to be a reminder of life going on around me. I don’t mind the sound of travelers moving on, but I’d rather listen to silence, total silence.
I’m enjoying my glass of Pinot Noir while I know the rest of my country is in turmoil. Because I am in the twilight of my years, I did not participate in the marches taking place in Cincinnati, but I should have, to let the people know I understand their plight, even while I do not suffer from it. I am a 77 year old grandmother who happens to have white skin. I am one-half Italian and one-half Irish, and I have a bad temper that I have learned to keep under control. I know if I had suffered the pains of the black community my temper would probably have exploded long ago. I doubt I would have been so patient with my country that had failed to recognize or understand what it’s like to be knocked down every time you take a step forward. But, I did not march with the protestors, and if I am honest, I think I was afraid of being injured or jailed. So I am a typical white person who espouses understanding but who does nothing to counter the injustice. And that is why we are here right now. There are millions like me who don’t, or won’t, step up and speak the truth, who standby and hope for the best.
I did show my solidarity to a cause I believed in when I joined the million women march in D.C. a few years back. I traveled from Kentucky to D.C. on a bus with women I didn’t know and marched in solidarity for the rights I perceived I should have. And yet, where was I today when the black community needed me to march with them? I am only three years older now, but used my age to deter me from a cause even more important.
I am enjoying my wine this evening, even as my country burns. It seems there is something wrong with that.