Monday, August 18, 2014

Feelings about Ferguson

Twitter tells me that bad things are happening in Ferguson even right this minute, even though it's hours later there, even though Mike Brown was killed over a week ago.

I'm sad. Sad for Mike Brown, sorry for his parents, and so, so sad for the state of our country where racism is alive and well and still cutting people down left and right every minute of every day. It's tempting to throw up my hands and say "there's no hope!" Can anything be accomplished this side of Heaven? God, I really doubt it. But shouldn't we try?

I had dinner at our friends' house tonight and brought up the subject because I want to talk about it. I want some wisdom! My friend asked what was bugging me the most and I gathered my thoughts and said that what bugs me the most is how bad racism is and how little anybody in my world wants to talk about it. And I'm disturbed because I don't know what to do.

On Sunday I wanted to go to Mass and have my priest speak about this. There was a visiting bishop asking for money for his very vital ministry among the poor in the Caribbean, but no talk about what happened to Mike Brown or what is continuing to happen in Ferguson.

There was a list of online suggestions of things white people could do about the situation in Ferguson other than keep gabbing about it on Twitter. Every one of them spoke to me - and yet as I read them I could imagine the protest I would get from people whose political views don't "line up" with some of the organizations mentioned or with the challenges the writer makes. I don't know the writer, maybe she's full of crap in every other area - but I WANT ADVICE and she's giving it.

It has also been illuminating to follow many more black women and men on Twitter. I want to empathize and this helps. I'm sitting in my white house on my white street in a mostly-white neighborhood in Nevada - how ELSE am I going to hear the viewpoint of a black American on this topic? It's hard to wade through the news and the politics on the major networks, so social media and some print media has to suffice to give me the information I crave.

But what now? I'm not helping anyone and that makes me sad, too.
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