colenesmithI feel like, for the first time, I'm at a place that isn't my own. Where I don't assume centrality. Where I expect to exhibit deference. -
Holding the door for an elderly black woman here means something else. She's not just elderly. I'm not just being chivalrous. It is an act of intentional submission. Where I look into her eyes, and she looks back into mine, and both of us acknowledge something that's happening in this moment. A change. Attached to countless small changes. Changes that have been fought for. That people have been murdered while trying to implement. And that, somehow, changes that face a renewed resistance. -
We cannot yet burn an effigy of the white hooded villain on the lawn of this place as a symbol of his end. There are still too many who advocate for his ideologies -- in overt action or in the distant support of policy.-
And I cannot help but ask, "have we learned nothing?" Are we still so afraid of the "other?" How are there still so many who want to build walls between "us" and "them"? -
I want to grab the faces of every white person in this building, look them in the eye, and shout, "look at what we have done. We cannot ignore it. We cannot pretend it's not still an issue. We cannot pretend that someone else was the perpetrator and time has absolved us. We have to do something different." -
And, thinking of all this, I take a breath. I look at the humans of color whose parents and grandparents weren't considered human at all. The very ones who, to this day, deal with the effects of hundreds of years of personal and systematic abuse. And I want to kneel. -
I want to stoop and wash the feet of every man, woman, and child of color who walks out of this building. To kneel before them in humility and apologize for the oppression of the past whose fingers still hold today. I want to wash their feet with tears, mourning injustice and -- in this act of connection -- mutually hope for an end to disparity. I want us to raise a chorus of equality. I want us to sing together to wake the world to a new, better day. -
The voices of oppression cannot win. We have too much hope for that.
- lisal3500Beautifully said, Cole.
- laurannelindsayIn DC? Or is this an oldie?
- colenesmith@laurannelindsay I was there for about 10 hours yesterday 😉
- zachagerty@colenesmith i'm in dc this weekend
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