Thursday, November 23, 2017

No Day Off

Racism doesn’t take a day off for Thanksgiving.

Three years ago, twelve year old Tamir Rice was killed by a police officer while playing with a toy gun in a park. He should be celebrating Thanksgiving with his family today. His killer went free.

In an end of the day announcement from Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis yesterday the public learned that “he has dismissed administrative charges against Sgt. Alicia White, the last officer facing discipline in the Freddie Gray case.” (Quote from Justin Fenton, Baltimore Sun)

No one will bear the consequences for Gray’s death. No one.

Yesterday a friend shared this video, “Groundhog Day for a Black Man”. I’m embarrassed to say I couldn’t make it to the end; I found it so upsetting.

Thanksgiving, which we now know to be founded upon both little lies and bigger ones, has become more difficult for me through the years. This is not because I have nothing to be thankful for. It is precisely because I am no longer able to ignore how my many blessings have been established and perpetuated by systemic inequality and violence. Until very recently that was invisible to me, and I was thought it was simply “normal”.

Today I will celebrate with family and I hope you will, too. I don’t begrudge anyone a day to be filled with gratitude, to feel delight in food and family. Just don’t forget how highly controlled those freedoms are in this country. We don’t allow them to everyone.

Looking that in the face makes a traditional Thanksgiving more difficult.

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