Visiting the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama was a deeply moving experience. Now more than ever we need this place, to help remember those whose lives were taken, mercilessly terrorized and tortured.
This is a sacred place, a place that uplifts and heals.
We need to witness the pain and suffering of the black community and how the suffering has persisted throughout the decades.
Prophet and poet James Baldwin says, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
As a woman raised as “white,” I want to bear witness to the suffering our white American ancestors have caused and the unearned privilege I have benefitted from.
For over 300 years, children were torn from their parents, families were torn apart, and now we have the mass incarceration of a disproportionate number of people of color.
These are difficult conversations to have, but we need to have them. White people need to understand that there is nothing special or superior about being “white.” Nothing.
The US government now continues the tragedy of white supremacy in their efforts to dehumanize and criminalize the people south of the border.
This current administration is doing to Muslims and Latinos what plantation owners did to black people both during and after slavery. This regime is aggravating the white supremacist animosity that has lingered to this day.
This White House uses words like “infection” and “animal” to describe immigrants who are seeking refuge in the US.
But here, in this memorial, there is hope and courage. If the black community can continue to have hope, I will, too. It is the very least we can do. We simply can’t give up hope, because if we do, our democracy will die.