Earlier this week, I wrote a post called Back to Life. I mentioned in that post, one of the reasons I haven’t posted anything over the last couple of months was because I was frustrated about the most recent rounds of police shootings and I didn’t feel like I had the words to clearly express my thoughts. I still don’t feel completely ready to discuss it. But there are two things that have occurred in my community over the last two weeks that have added to my sadness and frustration.
The First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, Delaware decided to stand with the black community. This congregation of mostly white parishioners decided to post signs on their property that say, “Black Lives Matter.” Since the signs have been erected, vandals have repeatedly cut the word “black” out of the sign. They’ve received angry phone calls and threats. The church has replaced the signs, and even left a message and invitation to discuss the concerns of the vandals. Their dedication to the message gives me hope, especially when so many of my white friends have been silent.
Ivan Thomas is a local filmmaker. You can take a look at his work on his page, http://detvch.com/. A friend shared a video blog he posted earlier this week. His story broke my heart. Again, the incident he describes happened in our city. He and his son were verbally assaulted and physically attacked at a state park by two individuals who perceived him to be a threat, simply because he’s black. I’ve posted his video below. There were several things that he said in the video that I struggled with. He certainly handled the situation well, but there was one thing he said about the life of black people stuck out the most: [As a black person] Your number one job is to come home. That’s a tough lesson to have to teach your child. It’s 2016. We shouldn’t have to tell our kids that blackness comes with such a risk.