It’s Friday — time to write with absolute abandon.
Why? Because it’s Five Minute Friday at Kate’s and
that’s what hundreds of us do on Friday.
So time to start the ticker and write for
a full five minutes full-out without editing or correcting
on just one word —
Change didn’t happen the way we dreamed.
We dreamed of peace, not war. We dreamed of equality, not racism, sexism, or ethnicism. We dreamed of skin color mattering to no one, but it does. We dreamed of our children going to school together, but they don’t.
These were the dreams of those of us growing during the fight for civil rights in the 1960s and 1970s. Change didn’t come. What little change occurred was not enough.
I remember the riots in Watts, Rodney King, Medgar Evers, three young men massacred in Mississippi, crosses burning in front yards, the Ku Klux Klan marching in the streets where I lived, riots in the alley behind our apartment after Martin Luther King’s assassination, the shooting at Kent State as students protested the war and begged for peace, and more.
I remember praying for change. Lying in bed trying to go to sleep and wondering what the world would be like for a baby I might bring into our family. I remember worrying about where that child would go to school, who he or she would marry, and what problems might ensue.
I wanted my world to be fair, just, equal for all men, women and children. I didn’t want my children to see signs like those I saw while growing up and questioned again and again, always answered with the words, “You’re not old enough to understand.” There was no understanding these words:
The signs are not the same today because we, our government, and our churches believe we changed all that. The signs may not read the same, but in our hearts we know nothing has changed.
Ferguson, MO, and the death of Michael Brown reminds us nothing has changed.
Today we are still systemically racist in America. I’m sorry. It’s the truth, and it hurts. I no longer live in the deep South but when we return there to visit family and friends, we feel it. The air is oppressive with it, glances filled with it, hearts emit the wrong emotions and are filled with it.
What will it take to change the way things are?
God has the answer:
I took longer than five minutes.
Images added after writing completed.
Lots of folks come together to do this every Friday.
Want to read what some of them have written today?
Click on the image below and enjoy!