Racism, Injustice, and Inequality: The Time is Now to Take Hold of a Generational Opportunity

Monday, June 01, 2020
Was another sobering morning in America, so I went for a drive in the country to think and listen.

Graceful cinquefoil (Pontentilla gracilis) with native pollinator
My radio was playing Here and Now on OPB, the program was titled, “From the 1960s to 2020: Civil Unrest in the Face of Systemic Injustice”, with Peniel Joseph, director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas at Austin.  Joseph said, “We have a generational opportunity to squarely confront this history and to move in a new and more progressive direction.”  A "generational opportunity" filled me with hope when I heard that.  I spent my life reading about how others made history, but this time has been given to us, and as sickening as it is to take a hard look at the time in which we have been given, we can rise together, work hard, and come out on the other side a greater nation.  I have to believe that.

Seaside daisy (Erigeron glaucus) with native pollinator.
We all grew up reading about the American civil rights movement of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.  I encourage you to reread the history.  Read about Emmett Till’s brutal murder and the two white men that were acquitted by an all-white jury.  He was 14 and accused of offending a white woman in a grocery store.  I cry every time I think about Emmett's mother, Mamie Bradley, who wanted people to see what hatred had been unleashed on her only son.  Open casket.  Public funeral service.  Before cell phones, she wanted the world to see what had happened to her son.  How he was unrecognizable.  How our democracy had failed by acquitting his known killers.

Sword fern, oak fern, and oxalis mix
I don't know that too much has changed in the past 50-80 years.  The pain of the injustice and perpetuation of racism, generation after generation, feels more than I can bear at times, though my pain doesn't light a candle to the pain of my black brothers and sisters.  For what it's worth, I, Karli Del Biondo, stand with you, no matter what.  I will always believe that love is greater than hatred, fear, and oppression.

Art by Nikkolas Smith
 From Emmett Till to George Floyd.  Their LIVES MATTER.  BLACK LIVES MATTER!


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