Maya Angelou: ‘History, despite it’s wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.’
A late-summer night. A city wrapped, like a package, in an American small town magic. Crickets chirping, the air smelling of warmth and roasted garlic, the clatter of plates and silverware chiming through the streets, the terracotta downtown cobbles illuminated by the neon signs of Paramount Theatre. Sunset in Charlottesville, Virginia.
No sign there and then that just an hour later there will still be the smell of warmth, more husky and potent now, the cozy sounds of crackling fire. But this time the mild glow will stand in heavy-breathing juxtaposition to the features which it is outlining so softly. Features so distorted as to almost caricaturize hate, insecurities covered by a stone mask of arrogance, convicting shame hidden behind sunglasses worn at night.
Their blazing sign of protest will be lifted high, conveniently borrowed from a culture colonized and gutted by their forefathers. Blindly promoting tokens of a people they hate. Hate that, they try to make everybody believe, is driven by a distinction of colour. An army of polo shirts and cargo pants proudly marching to the drum of their heroes, in the footsteps of repeated murder, rape and cruelty. In a heritage of fear, insecurity and greed. A testimony to weakness of character parading in cadence.
They will bellow for a futile cause, for white lives have always mattered. What an impertinance, to protest the consideration of their whiteness on a land stolen, where the people they deem heroic denied others consideration because of blackness, simply because they could.
And as on the very next day they encounter the fierce resistance of love, and see that even love can get angry but it doesn’t choose to stay there, they are unmasked. Sweat and fear give way to murder. It will make a mother cry out when they kill her girl. Kill her as she defends those who are us.
Everybody is scared of something. Mostly of the unknown. The thing with fear is: it makes us go down a road that turns us into some creature we were never meant to be. And at a certain point we can not return, because too much has been said and done. We have been down that road time and time again, terrible things have happened and still we lead ourselves to believe that this time it is different than back then. I guess that’s exactly what fear does. Well, it’s time to grow up and see that our core values need to be put in the place where fear used to be and base our decisions on what we know is right and true.
We zoom in on the issue only to be brought back to the bigger picture. And all that remains is this: to fight fear even if the courage we can muster up is only as big as the tiniest subatomic particle, to educate ourselves and look curiously and empathetically into other peoples lives, to speak up for those whose voice society chooses to fade down, to stand with each other – however that may look like in each individual life. Because all of this isn’t right and i know these words are null, it is so much more than not right. It is a living hell. So do whatever you can do or do what only you can do, we will not turn a blind eye and play passively into the foul cards of hate.
Maya Angelou: ‘Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it’s destination full of hope.’8