Above: Approaching the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL on March 5, 2017. Walking in the footsteps of the Freedom Marchers, embracing diversity.
I walked in the footsteps of the Freedom Marchers last Sunday, March 5, 2017. I want to become a part of a common history that will build our nation into one that empowers and uplifts; that embraces diversity and refuses to allow oppression and hate to thrive. I will stand up for the rights of every person - black, white, jew, muslim, christian, man, woman, latino, refugee, immigrant, gay, bi, transgender - to be treated with dignity, to have equal rights.
Walking in the footsteps of the Freedom Marchers was an amazing opportunity to be part of our nation's history, remembering the courage and bravery of the group that walked peacefully into the line of police and were met with the brutality of fear and the use of force in an attempt to oppress and suppress truth.
And how great was the fear of those that attacked the unarmed marchers, so afraid of the truth that they were willing to beat the marchers back, refusing to cede the marchers’ right to walk on, to move forward. To vote. To become a part of a great nation with a dark history.
This dark history does not belong solely to the people with dark skin. It is our history — white, black, brown, yellow, red. It is a history mired in blood and tears. It is a history of fear and conquest and we must fight to come together and move past this history. Often, to be able to move forward we must first remember. We must remember those that have gone before — the sacrifices they have made. Let the truth of a citizen’s right to vote be the weapon, let the fear and the brutal use of force attempting to deny this truth speak for themselves.
Our nation is on a journey, each of us is on a journey. It can be be a beautiful journey despite the cruelty in our world. Life is an irony - the world is full of joy, the world is full pain. To move toward joy and away from pain and the fear it causes we must seek a common ground. We must refuse to be controlled and directed by fear and greed. I am willing to stain my white skin with any color of the rainbow that will move us toward peace. I will walk across any bridge that leads to truth and stare down the barrel of a rifle that fears the truth that cannot be denied — my fate is tied to yours.
Where do you stand? What is your greatest sorrow? Your greatest fear? What makes your heart sing and feet pound the Earth? If you are not able to answer these questions you do not know where you stand.
I would love to hear your thoughts on building a common history, on finding and knowing where you stand, on what to sacrifice, and on what truth you will follow without regard to the consequences.