“The More Things Change, The More They Remain theSame.” This phrase was coined by French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in 1848, or there abouts. The following is a story of an encounter my 22-year-old granddaughter had recently on a fishing trip. These are her words, with truly little editing. I read this and it pierced my soul. At seventy years of age, I have experienced a lot of mistreatment because of the color of my skin. I sometimes find myself momentarily cocooned in naivety, thinking, no hoping that my children and grandchildren will not have to experience certain things. Read this and see what your reaction is. I know that may seem like a strange request; however, I want you to let this simmer deep within the bowls of your being.
“Yesterday, I went fishing on Lake Wedington (I know, me fishing. Who knew?!) It was a fun time. My fishing line became the biggest tangled mess, but somehow, I still caught a small bass (again, who knew??) It was me, Daniel, and one of his friends. We’re out in the open, the road right next to us by the lake. Cars and motorcycles are flying by. A red truck came cruising around a curve, packed with guys who had their windows down. Everything was fine until one of them in the backseat saw me and yelled “f***in n****r” at me.
The way my body flooded with heat. I paused, surely, he wasn’t yelling that to me, in progressive Fayetteville, AR. (Fayetteville is a college town, with a reputation as being one of best small towns in the United states to live.) Surely this wasn’t reality. But it was. I looked to Daniel and his friend, praying they didn’t hear it, because for some reason I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that my skin color attracts the most hateful negative attention.
But what I felt the most was anger. I understand that there are plenty of wayward souls in the world who are plain nasty, hateful, and evil. But what I continue to struggle with is understanding why, as a country, we still back Trump, who has been the role model for such ugliness. We have a president who refuses to acknowledge the oppression of America’s black citizens. A president that does not condemn the actions of the hateful. Instead, he uses physical force to silence us. And because of his ignorance, many more American citizens refuse to see that change is needed. Refuse to see how this one man has negatively influenced those all around us.
What I want to see in the leader of the free world is someone who stands up for humanity. I want to see someone who holds compassion for all citizens, who fights for everyone’s rights. And I will make sure that my vote counts this November 3.
America deserves better. We deserve better.”
I’m old and blessed (despite the ugliness in the world) …hope you will be too.