I was admonished for not posting a blog addressing the horrific events in South Carolina. My blogs often deal with difficult topics, but always end in hope and redemption; I saw no redemption in the burning of Black churches as the Confederate flag flew proudly atop the South Carolina State House.
I would not blog my rage: I could not blog about redemption
If we are not safe to worship our God in His house, are we safe anywhere?
The carnage and destruction catapulted me backwards into a state of Black Racial PTSD. I relived the fear and terror of the original church burnings in the 1960’s. I relived the raising of the Confederate flag by the Ku Klux Klan in protest of integration. I relived the snatching of Black youth from their beds in the dead of night to be strung up on trees to swing to their death. I felt the hundred lashes on the backs of my enslaved ancestors. I felt the terror of the African woman torn from her village and tossed into the bowels of the slave ship. With these jumbled thoughts crowding my head, and the wrenching emotions that gripped my heart, I could not blog about redemption.
But then the words of Frederick Hayes at Open Mic jarred me out of my desolation. “Let us hope that the victims of the burnings did not die in vain. Let us hope that their deaths open up a dialogue to put an end to such events.”
Therein lies redemption
And I watched as former President Bill Clinton, himself a White, Southern, was moved to tears by the solidarity of Blacks and Whites embracing as the votes were cast to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House.
Therein lies redemption.
Author of You CAN Go Home Again
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Amy, it bothers me that you would feel admonished for not writing about the racist-inspired murders in South Carolina. It is not just your job to speak on these subjects, though I am most grateful to you for doing so and for writing as honestly and as effectively as you do. But the burden for disclosure in conversations on race always seems to fall to the person of color. Not to white folks, yet how well we know the Contract of Silence about the undercurrents of racism that run through business dealings, our elections, our classrooms, our churches and our families. It is the build-up of pressure within this Silence that leads to a young white man’s exploding murdering gunshots into a prayer meeting in what must be a place of sanctuary. How to talk about or write about this illness without jamming it deeper into a white person’s psyche and belief system or a community’s? This is the question I ask myself.
Thank you, Barbara, for the deep thought you put into your comment. Hopefully more people like you will break the Contract of Silence, and the illusion and denial that supports it.
There was a rhythmic feeling to your :redemption” blog. Thank you for your written expression.
Thank you, Rhea, for taking the time to share your comments.
Amy, you did it again. What a talent you have. For all to see. For all to become more aware. Thank you.
Thank you, Gisela, for your continued encouragement of my writing and my message.