I felt OK about what I blogged yesterday. I like taking a thought and running with it. If it's a half baked idea like "when did the cops stop being 'helping guys'?" that sparked yesterday's post - writing is a cathartic way to explore that thought further.
But just as a splinter only partially removed often causes more pain than the buried one, exposing my thoughts can make me aware of how shallow I have begun to dug. And it gnaws on me until I get it all the way out.
Ignorance is blistering I'm afraid. I want life to be simple. The issue without the complexity of the facts is so absurd and obvious. Racism has always been so perplexing. I keep waiting for people to say "WTF are we doing?" and just stop. In the meantime, I want it to be OK not to look. But it isn't. And I know that. It just hurts too much to look.
But I looked anyway. And I saw what I knew was there. If Jezebel.com doesn't know what to do with 'good' white people that makes two of us. I don't know what to do with myself either!
So who am I calling a good white person? I don't know if the shoe fits and I should wear it or not. Intention has to still count for something, as must empathy. It hurts. It all hurts too deeply for justice to ever be felt deeply enough. I want to make it right. I want to do it right (whatever "it" is) but there is just no way to do it "right".
It reminds me of that scene in Forrest Gump where Jenny begins to throw rocks at her childhood home, the sight of terrible abuse. After she is spent from the rage and effort of throwing Forrest says, "sometimes there just aren't enough rocks".
How can any one of us make it right enough for what has been so wrong and for whom have been so wronged? I want to live MY story but it is caught up in such a history that I must repeatedly check my blessings at the door and remember to lament what has come before.
The rocks are deserved. Yet there are not enough of them to atone. What DO I do now? Do I dip into the blood bath? Do I wait it out until the inflammation has subsided? Do I shut the fuck up because it's not my fight but vote privately and pray mightily for justice?
I am working hard, so hard, to raise good white people. It takes all of me. And I want them to believe in a world like the one I want them to aspire to create. I am their educator and I dread the telling of this story. Shame is hard to strain out, if I plan to tell the whole truth about our country. I don't want them (or anyone) to learn shame or self loathing. And to explain to my innocent what racism is draws attention to the absurdity of judging any person 'less than' for any reason - the least of which being that into which they were born.
But I'm still working this out as our country works this out. Please forgive me for not doing it "right" or for even doing it "wrong". I can't atone but I will work harder not to ignore.
As for the stones, in my life I fight hard against the temptation to judge. I took to heart the words "let he who is without sin be the first to pick up a stone." I think the wisdom in that lies in the knowledge that no one can throw just one. For every stone thrown another person feels entitled to pick up their stone. Before you know it the whole human race is stoned (and not in a good way). Whatever needs to be done, I know we can all do it better. I still believe that peace is possible and more than a stone's throw away.