Thursday, June 26, 2014

Selma

The sky is grey this morning with a low cloud cover and a cool breeze blowing as I'm walking across the empty and silent Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. No one is there to stop me and why would they? It's 2014 and I am white but knowing what has happened here, what we're about to be reenacting later today, I can't help but feel the suffering, hatred and vitriol that is infused in this structure. Named after an evil man it's even more powerful that people had the strength and courage to cross the structure and make a statement - we are people too, we will overcome, we are good enough. So many people fight for significance and may attain some level of abatement from the outer resistance but there's a bigger fight within: "am I good enough?" You know how you should be treated but the reality of how the world sees you and has treated you raises subliminal doubts. Many people over react with grand displays in an attempt to convince themselves that all the negative things they have felt about themselves aren't correct. You can fight a battle but that doesn't always win the war for significance in your heart. 

The brave marchers in 1965 made a point and marked history but I imagine in many hearts, the questions still lurk in the recesses of the oppresseds soul's like a gnat buzzing around your ear. They know it's not true but the buzzing doesn't stop.  This landmark and era were not my battle although I believe it would have been had I been alive at that time, but I can relate to the struggle to be recognized, wanting to quiet that doubt in my mind. Outward actions against oppression are necessary but the long term battle won't be won if you can't accept yourself for who you are as valuable, as worthy. Everyone is significant by nature of being alive on this planet but the hardest battle to win is the one against ourselves. 

Writing this, I'm sitting where I can see down to the Montgomery side of the bridge where all the atrocities happened and I hope that all the souls in the world whether black, angsty white kids, gay, Latino, etc who are marginalized and abused can not just win battles but can win the war and achieve inner peace knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are significant and valuable. 


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