My Statement on Black Lives Matter
I have waited over a week to begin writing this newsletter. I have delayed posting a couple of letters while I tried to determine what to say.
This is not because I am at all uncertain what I think or believe or know about the injustice of our times. It is because of my own trauma, which robs me of language--writer though I am--in the face of direct wrong.
Among my earliest memories is that of being vehemently warned not to cry aloud while being viciously spanked, for fear the neighbors might hear and call the authorities and then… and then… bad things would happen. The terror implanted dwarfed even the fact that I often did not know what I was being punished for.
Add to that the fact that I was also traumatized by being framed to my own father, who unwisely (to say the least) used a never-talk-back policy. Despite his love for me and mine for him, he never knew what I dealt with daily from my mother. Instead, again, I learned to keep my mouth shut hardest when I felt injustice most deeply.
All of this is simply to say that I still have no language for speaking out against the sort of evils currently being protested across this country. For this reason, and this reason alone, I would prefer to remain silent at this time.
But I cannot. I have seen injustice do unimaginable damage on a very small scale; I cannot remain entirely silent about the enormous evils that occur daily on the scale of a nation. So please bear with my halting statement here.
I wish at the very least to state emphatically my support for equal justice, for the work being done to establish and enforce equality--especially racial equality and respect, especially at the hands of law enforcement.
The tragedy of George Floyd is the tragedy of a people, a senseless tragedy of hatred and privilege levied for centuries against the innocent. It is a matter of pride and honor that so many have risen to demand justice.
In these demands and their rightful resolution lies the future well-being of our nation. We must all stand together for our mutual freedom, justice, and basic human respect.