“Hurry, hurry turn on the television” pleaded my husband this early . My quiet morning for writing has been interrupted. Really? Yes, but this is a good “really.” The Supreme Court made another historical decision in two days, same-sex marriage is approved nation-wide. Wow!
I’m not sure that I can keep up with the epic events over the past week: the shootings at Mother Emmanuel Church, the challenge of the Confederate Flag, Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical Laudato Si’, the upholding of the Affordable Care Act, and today’s ruling.
I feel like I’m a four-year-old again; I feel like it’s the 1960s again.
My earliest memories of racial strife and tension started when I was four years old. We arrived in Southern California two days before the Watts Riots.
A change of plans for my parents on settling down in Watts.
Realize, Watts in the 1960s was the mecca for blacks leaving the South. It was a place to finally obtain the American Dream: get a good job, buy a home, and raise a family without the violence and the oppression of the South.
I’m not sure when I knew about the Confederate flag, but I knew how it made me feel even as a little girl, complete sheer terror. It is the same terror that I feel anytime I see the Nazi flag. The flag is a symbol of hate and superiority. Nothing good comes from raising that flag.
Subtle changes, yet powerful changes, fifty years later.
Justice looks and sounds differently today: the President of the United States that delivered today’s powerful eulogy was black, the Latin Pope who wrote the encyclical has a degree in Chemistry, the Governor of South Carolina was a Indian-American woman, and the many voices in support of same-sex marriage is as diverse as you can imagine.
We can’t back down and lose sight of what hate can do to our lives.
At this moment, I’m very full and overwhelmed, like drinking from a fire hydrant. It will take a while to unpack this tremendous week. So far this is what I can wrap my arms around: nine wonderful people who died at Mother Emmanuel Church are martyrs, grace and love will prevail and we can’t waste the energy of this week.