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Finding the words is hard

14 Aug

Friday night I went to turn off the computer, but first I checked twitter.  Horrified isn’t too strong a word for what I felt seeing the tweets and the glaring images of what was happening in Charlottesville filling my screen.  I don’t know how long I sat in silence reading, watching, before I finally turned it off and went to bed with deep fear in my heart for what Saturday would bring.

Saturday was worse, so much worse, even just watching what happened from afar.

Throughout Saturday my thoughts were a jumbled mess, my heart hurt seeing the ugly of the white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-nazis, whatever they call themselves, and thinking, how, if I felt that way, how much worse must it be for people of color who’ve had to deal with this their entire life.

An ugliness that should not exist, let alone be allowed to thrive.

Sunday found me still thinking about what had happened, how such evil can exist, so to distract myself, I went to Ancestry to work on a tree.  I chose my paternal tree by birth, the one I struggle with the most because I have no knowledge of any of them, at least I have my aunt on my maternal family of birth to answer questions.  I focused and made head-way on a particular branch – my paternal great-great grandfather and grandmother who lived in Freedom, Maine, where my great-great grandmother was born just as the town was coming into existence at the beginning of the 1800’s.

That focusing kept my mind off the bigotry and racial hatred for awhile, but it was just a temporary reprieve.

Then I got to missing dad because just his steady quiet presence always calmed the storm inside me.  He is also my measure for how one should act, so I sat for a while remembering all that he was, how emotionally and physically strong he was, how just he was, how giving he was.  I’m sure dad also had his own faults, but they pale in comparison to how much he gave back to anyone who needed a hand, as a doctor, a friend, or as a stranger, and at the end of the day, people remember him as a good man.

And that’s what we all need to strive for – that when we are gone, we will be remembered as being a good person.

Being a good person means we can’t escape the bad that happens and has happened and remain silent.  We can’t pretend it doesn’t exist.  We can stand-up and say its wrong when we see it, that’s the right thing to do, whether we push-back in one on one conversations, or when events like this occur and we say it’s wrong.

ABM has a thoughtful post on her thoughts. Thoughts on Charlottesville and I found this post by a pastor that I thought was worth passing along The Church and Charlottesville: Our Call to Confession and Clarity

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” ― Elie Wiesel

 

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8 Comments

Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Adoption

 

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8 responses to “Finding the words is hard

  1. pastordavesimpson

    August 15, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Thank you for the link. I definitely agree with what you wrote – there is power in simply saying, “This is wrong.”

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      August 15, 2017 at 3:33 am

      Thank you Pastor Dave.

      Like

       
  2. beth62

    August 15, 2017 at 3:32 am

    Very hard. I have many people I know well and love dearly that have to be in or near these violent places for school and work, it’s terrifying.

    Good people need to stand up and speak out against all the hatred. So many so full of hate they are ready and willing to harm, even kill each other. Why in the world any city would allow any kind of race rally in a historical downtown place instead of a park or somewhere thats more easy to secure is beyond me.

    I’m in full support of the Mayor of Richmond, VA. I’m admittedly terribly biased about him for personal reasons ♡
    IMO he’s got the only real answer here. If others would put down their hatred, and weapons, and listen, things really could get better.
    I’m guessing it’s easier to hate than learn.

    http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/mayor-stoney-richmond-s-confederate-monuments-should-stay-with-context/article_b8cbb743-410f-520f-9197-2a58450d128a.html

    My other bias = no way in hell could I ever support erasing and replacing history. That’s just BS. Adding to it is the only way. Learning more about it, hearing more individual stories, piecing it all together for more clarity, making new contributions…
    What peaceful fun we could have 🙂 Instead our streets are full of idiots, and our media is shining the brightest lights on them instead of all the good people who could do, and are doing, some good.

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    • TAO

      August 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      I sat with the last part of your comment Beth, I will always agree that history shouldn’t ever be destroyed, it should be taught, talked about and never white-washed as it seems it’s being done present day in some history textbooks. I don’t agree that removing statutes erected in parks (etc.) long after the civil war is wrong. Perhaps a more fitting place for the statutes would be a plantation where people can see the actual slave quarters and hear how they were treated.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. Cindy

    August 18, 2017 at 12:48 am

    If we all would only acknowledge the hurt and the harm done in any horrible practice. Anything that dehumanizes people, not treating others as we individually want to be treated, must be shown to be wrong and stopped. The sick part of it is that money /gain of some kind, or those with power and authority (good and bad) so often triumph/s over what is right and humane and it leaves you with a sick and frustrated, angry feeling inside because once again the “powerful” have had their way at the expense of (a) precious human being/s.

    If we would all only open our ears and our hearts and hear and acknowledge the wrongs, change when things are still oppressive or cruel in any way. long heavy sigh. I dream. I hope.

    I don’t think putting the statues on a plantation would be a “more fitting” place. The statues I think would be are ones of the slaves themselves showing the conditions and atrocities that occurred. The severe beatings, a family being violently separated after the sale of the father, mother and or children and the soul wrenching anguish that created. Those would be “fitting” statues for a plantation.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  4. beth62

    August 29, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I’d hate to see some of the plantations ruined by statues of war generals :/
    Only my opinion, but many could be moved to some of the historic battlefields, where thousands of Americans died fighting under them.

    I loved what Kat had to say here about the radicals and history.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/599c69b6e4b0521e90cfb587

    I’d hate to see places like Montpelier destroyed, I love this place. So today I choose to shine my light on these good people and all this good work
    I hope people visit and learn, instead of erasing and destroying it 🙂

    https://www.montpelier.org/learn/a-more-complete-american-story
    https://www.montpelier.org/learn/6-ways-that-understanding-slavery-will-change-how-you-understand-american-freedom

    Good to be home, been traveling, saw the eclipse in full view – that was impressive! I’ll never forget it. Rode the Trail of Tears again, got a new understanding of being an old lady on the trail… won’t forget it either. Got a massive amount of detailed personal genealogy information and pictures in Cherokee, so thrilled so many people are digging up history, and sharing it. Dead Ends aren’t always dead 🙂

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 29, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Beth, I don’t know the best place for statues. I just can’t imagine walking in my city park, town hall and seeing a statue of a mother having her baby taken from her put up purposely to remind unwed mothers that others see them as less than. Now, that analogy is very small and fails on just about all fronts compared to the horror that slavery caused, the era’s many of the statues appeared and we can all figure out the intent behind them, but it’s the best I can do to feel what it could be like.

      Like

       
      • beth62

        August 29, 2017 at 4:01 pm

        I think a comparable statue would be someone seen as supporting the separation of mother and child.
        https://www.google.com/search?q=dave+thomas+statue&oq=statue+dave+thomas&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0.10215j0j4&client=tablet-android-alco&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=-0XiivnsI0vCaM:

        Agreed, a fail, which also depends on ones view too. Still interesting to talk about, degrees of horror aside. I can’t help but insist it’s in the same ballpark, the degrees of horror to be measured collectively and individually. I also wonder which came first, the bastard or the slave.

        Part of the problem is if we rid our country of all publically memorialized history that can be seen as supporting slavery, and genocide, in the Americas, we would need to remove it all, especially the British flag. Which is exactly what some intend to do. Why do you think so many are standing up to protect the cross? It was the cross that put slavery laws here, a cross that put adoption laws here too, and so much more.
        Fail on all fronts with that one too?
        https://www.virginia.org/listings/HistoricSites/FirstLandingCross/

        See how easy it is to relate everything to adoption as we know it!

        A curious question for all who are interested, if anything just to continue the discussion 🙂 sincerely curious.

        What is the local history near you and how are all it’s people and places memorialized?
        In this spot this happened here in this time.
        Who was harmed by this history, who would be hurt and offended by it’s presence, who would want to keep/remember it and why? All those kind of questions.

        Like

         

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