I was not born on the upper rungs of the ladder, though I am white. My paternal grandfather raised a family of eight washing windows and I am so proud of him. He had the work ethic. My maternal grandfather went to Chicago to work during the Depression to support his immediate family and the extended family who crossed over from the old country. He was a tool and dye maker. He sent money home to Cleveland to buy food so my grandmother could cook food and feed all of them. My pride in them as people is immense and I inherited my desire to make the world a better place comes from their example.
In truth, I never talked about people of color. They were there but they weren’t people of color. They were just people we knew. Archie Bunker introduced me to racism, bigotry and hatred.
When I heard this young boy’s poem, I was touched. There are people who get it. And they tell others and some of them get it and they tell others and on and on. I challenge all of you who are non-haters, non-racists, non-bigots to tell someone who you really are. Speak up. This is the time before we find ourselves in another World War. The world is shaky right now, but we can stabilize it with our voices and our actions.
We can want or even demand that our elected officials stop the racism and hatred, but it truly is our job. This is our world and we are the ones who are responsible for speaking, nay yelling, out the truth. Black Lives Matter, Women are equal even if not legally, refugees deserve compassion and assistance, women deserve equal pay for equal work, Muslims deserve to worship in their own way. Everyone does except for those who feel their way is the only right way and non-believers deserve to die.
I believe we can get past this without a war. I believe that love, peace, forgiveness and compassion is where we begin.
People of color everywhere are friends and share life’s ups and downs.