During The Trayvon Martin Case
"I was in a store with my mama when a man that was dark walked in! It scared me to death! I was 10 yrs old. I grabbed my mama's leg and was beginning to cry due to complete fear!!!
The tall dark man with very white hair with his somewhat curly white beard tipped his hat. He looked down upon me smiling a beautiful smile with the most beautiful pearly sparkly white teeth! And he so sweetly said to me "well hello there little girl!"
Suddenly everything seemed okay. I looked up at my mama to be reassured. And I saw my mama and the dark man smile real big at one another! They shared a chuckle!
Being a country woman and limited education my mama speaks country! Now don't get me wrong here LOL I love hearing some country when it's my mama talking! And I talk country with her! [So] she says to the man "how you?" as she nodded.
And again he tips his hat and says, "fine mam, that sho is a cute little girl you got there."
Mama smiled as she nodded and we parted ways.
I remember I just had to look back at that man again. I wanted to see his smile one more time. It seemed to have made everything okay.
On the way home we had a talk. This is when I learned there were/are differences.
Suddenly my mama sang, (and I sang along) Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Red and yellow black and white ALL are precious in his sight.
Afterwards we smiled and giggle and then I asked, 'Mama is it hard to love everybody?"
She replied, "Honey there are going to be a lot of hard things in life. But you're gonna be okay. Just do the right things!" Then once again we began to sing laugh and giggle! That was a special day!
She was right! Along my journey there have been many difficulties loving everyone! If it's not one person it's another. Judgements are passed along about you. Opinions and struggles you deal with. People seems to know more about you than you do yourself! LOL
But I'll always do what my mama taught me! I will always love everybody. It simply comes down to right and wrong. And like she said everything will be okay just do what is right!"
~ Delores M
I wrote my white pastor a few years ago, about a book heavy with stereotyping that had come out. And I actually threatened to storm the stage in my Aunt Jemima outfit if the author came to speak again. But the main thing I wanted to tell him was that babies are born thinking that skin color isn't that much more interesting than a brightly colored shirt they've never seen before.
Fear of difference (including things other than race) is learned in my opinion. Maybe? Fear of difference, naturally occurring or not, is something that is either embraced or rejected by a parent and communicated to child.
In the bible, "do not fear" is communicated 365 times, in some form or fashion, or so it is rumored. Whether the number is 322 or 369, the fact that it is repeated over and over again makes it an important life lesson - much more important than things being fought over in the name of God today... some of which aren't mentioned very much or at all.
Out of fear we don't do things we should do.
Out of fear we do things we shouldn't, then later try to justify them.
Out of fear, we protect ourselves instead of others.
And all of these beliefs* have had an effect on us AND everyone involved in the Trayvon Martin Case whether they were aware of it or not. (beliefs = thoughts not currently in your conscious mind)
Look at the photo below (boy playing dead with Skittles and Tea) This is what happens when a parent doesn't remove fear of difference and teach respect for difference at a young age. That young white boy in the photograph below could be a George Zimmerman in the making.
We can only hope that someone takes him aside and explains why this picture is horrible. Even had been done as a sort of protest, it is STILL so very disrespectful. (I'm grasping for straws here. I know) Either way, I hope parents see this photo and make it a teachable moment.
How does that old 1960s saying go? If we don't hang together, we're going to hang separately. So I hope the other photo at the top is a teachable moment as well, for all of us.