I can't help but think that we are at the beginning of something so huge.
I feel revolution brewing.
Ferguson is in national headlines and real dialog is beginning about race and class (and the militarization of our police force).
I have friends who are in Ferguson as street medics. The world is watching and the world is responding.
Some days, I am just moved to tears about all of this. Part sadness, part fear of the mess we are in and how it will get worse before it gets better, part hope that things are changing and excitement for liberation.
I hear other countries are sending their war reporters. I don't think we can call it war because it is actually genocide. One group has their hands up and one group is heavily armed and firing on them. It has become glaringly obvious that while we train our military that they fight other countries for our, the peoples, rights and to protect us from enemies who wish to take our freedom away; our country trains it's police officers that we, the people, are the enemy and they fight to protect rich politicians and corporations.
Although I am non-violent, I understand that when all other means have not brought results it calls for drastic measures. I know that when people are attacked and feel like they have everything taken from them they will fight back. We are there. The POC and the poor are at their breaking points. It is a courageous act and I say to the people of Ferguson: Don't give up. Don't back down. I stand with you in solidarity. Your son didn't die in vain- we will stand beside you and make this world a better place for your children.
Early on I saw a video of Mike Brown's mother's emotional response to the racist murder of her son. My heart broke in a million pieces. It broke because I recognized my white privilege. I too lost an 18 year old son, but he passed silently and peacefully in his sleep. He wasn't shot dead by police in the street for jaywalking. I never had to worry about that happening. I can't imagine living with that fear everyday. He didn't have his name slandered because pot was in his system or because he allegedly stole cigars (none of which warrant 6 shots including one in his head). I was told my son's life mattered, she was told hers didn't. I can't live with this and except that. I am standing on the good side of history and won't be silent. I will teach my children. I will tell my friends and family how I feel. I will follow the narrative that my oppressed brothers and sisters write out.
I came across this blog post by manic pixie dream momma and it put my swirling thoughts perfectly in order. I creeped around her past posts and I have much respect for the issues she brought up about attachment parenting being so much easier for people of privilege. I have witnessed this first hand in the Homeschool community. The privilege is strong in homeschool. It often makes me, and my daughter, feel alienated- not because we don't have privilege, because we certainly do. Privilege has degrees and while I have more than others, there are others above me. (This really needs to be another post because I have A LOT to say about this.) In my political/spiritual/life beliefs, I try to recognize my privilege and keep it in check. I know it exists. I try to never judge. Dealing with race, racism, sex, gender and sexism, class and classism isn't comfortable and it isn't easy. Sometimes it will hurt. Sometimes I will make mistakes. But I am always willing to learn from those mistakes. I will apologize first always. I will listen. I will ask respectful questions. And then I will shut the fuck up and listen again. Then I will pass on what I learned to my children. I know not everyone is up to this hard task, but I hope that is slowly changing.
We (my family) participated in a Solidarity with Ferguson Rally last Friday. It was a week ago today. Here is a wonderful recap of the action. It is an action I won't forget. It was very powerful. It had many magical moments for me, but the biggest was seeing people join us from the sidewalk in the street. The second was what this act of solidarity and reclaiming of power did for my daughter. She did not hesitate when it was time to hit the street- she jumped right behind the banner, even helped hold it for awhile. She also grabbed the bullhorn at one point leading the group in a chant. Third, was seeing a friend of mine experience her first "taking the street" march. I could see the fear and worry in her eyes even though she didn't want to show it. I saw her stand on the sidewalk as we blocked the intersection of Franklin and Columbia and express her concern about what the police would do. Then I watched her become more comfortable and inch into the street as she realized that, in solidarity, we had each other's backs. That moment when you realize that The People united are a powerful force is a magical one and I'm glad I got to experience it with her. We are true comrades now.