When Your Pain Doesn’t Spur Action

I just read an article about how U.S. cities are ramping up their efforts to remove Confederate statues.
I immediately thought of Bree Newsome. Do you remember her? She’s the activist arrested in 2015 for climbing a flag pole to remove the Confederate flag in South Carolina.
Do you remember that time? The Charleston Church Massacre had just happened. Nine people were killed in an historically black church during prayer service.

The nine victims in the Charleston shooting. Top row: Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton middle row: Daniel Simmons, Rev. Depayne Middleton Doctor, Tywanza Sanders Bottom row: Myra Thompson, Ethel Lee Lance, Susie Jackson

I can’t forget that moment in history … nor do I remember any articles about cities RUSHING to get rid of Confederate symbols. Yes, some got rid of their monuments and are still working on doing so to this day, but I don’t recall a sense of urgency. Overall, it seemed like few wanted the headache of taking action in their city (and courts), based on a killers actions elsewhere.
I suppose it took a bunch of white folks behaving badly, and killing one of their own, for the country to rush to change. Perhaps Charlottesville, VA resonated with them more, because people relate to their own, and America is still over 60% white. 

Heather D. Heyer was killed on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., after a car crashed into demonstrators protesting a white supremacy rally. Image: Facebook

I suppose I get it … but it’s still a sobering reminder that it may be a good long while before brown faces elicit the same understanding or compassion as pale faces in this country.
Cold world.

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