I’m glad Gill wrote this, because it’s given me the push to post a couple things that I’ve been meaning to post for a while. First, a song.
And next, this essay that really scrambled up my brain as it’s intended to do. When I found it, all that was written was below the ***’s.
Finally, before I let her take it away, I want to clarify something. When she references being shown the Nazi salute, it was in drama class as part of a play. Also, this was at a school for the blind, so the teacher assumed that the kids probably didn’t know how it looked, so had to physically show them. I know the woman to whom she is referring, and I think she would be heartbroken to think that Gill thought she was trying to encourage the kids to support what is embodied by Nazism rather than realizing she was just showing them how to act a part in a play.
Over the last several years, several acts of hate and terror have occurred. Charleston, Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, and just last week the good people down in New Zealand experienced it on a scale that no nation or person should experience it. Shout out to the Prime Minister and other high-ranking officials there for putting laws in place that would prevent this sort of thing.
These acts don’t just hurt the victims or their fellow countrypeople. The sadness and grief goes around the world. In my own personal way, it kicked me in the stomach and created deja vu. Over twenty years ago, I was in a high school drama class and we were taught the Nazi Salute along with the “heil Hitler!
When I woke up last Saturday morning, I couldn’t even look myself in the mirror. I felt those same feelings of shame to be white that I did twenty years earlier. I rarely spoke of them, but brought it up with my prayer group that morning at church. They told me not to be ashamed, but to feel good that I have a social conscience.
We all have, and should do something good each day. It doesn’t have to be major, but something as simple as saying hello to your neighbors, or holding the door for someone. Like my mother told me after the Paris attacks, “we can be agents for change and peace.”