Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dear My Favorite Children,

I was watching my dvr'd episodes of Oprah. I came across one that was entitled "Freedom Riders". It sounded familiar and I'm sure I learned about them in school, but I didn't remember the specifics.

Wow, these young people got trained in peaceful confrontations and rode buses through the South to dispute Jim Crow Laws. It was mostly 18-24 yr olds - both white and black.

Oprah had 168 of the Freedom Riders still alive on her show. Oh my goodness I feel like my comments to others when they say hateful things about anyone's religion, race, or sexual orientation just isn't enough anymore.

These are some of the bravest people I have heard of. The KKK was waiting for them on the bus stops. They set one bus on fire; it ended up a fire bomb. In Mississippi they arrested hundreds of them all summer. There were 25 women sleeping in a room that should hold 4.

They got through it by singing songs. Watching Oprah they all started singing one of the songs that got them through that summer in prison. I went into the cry where you are rolling on the ground.

One girl, only 12, went around and assisted some of the Freedom Riders that were able to get off of the bus that caught on fire. She was then shunned by her community. The KKK decided not to harm her because she "obviously didn't know any better at her age." They literally had a meeting to discuss what they would do about the 12yr old white girl that helped the Freedom Riders.

Isn't it interesting how children who haven't absorbed the hate from their parents, teachers, or peers always show true goodness and love. So I say to you my darlings, what are you doing to stop the hate. Where we live you mostly witness hate regarding:

1. People who are or aren't a certain religion
2. Homosexuals

So what are you going to do about it. Don't ever stop standing up for doing the right thing. We have had many a discussion as to what people's fears are regarding gay people. We have educated you on how it is NOT a choice. We have read studies at the dinner table exhibiting the lack of choice. We have introduced you to gay people and you understand how they are human beings. You understand that whether it was Slavery, Women's Right to Vote or be considered equal human beings, Civil Rights, Homosexuals, or Muslims it will always be the same argument. "If you give _____________rights your children will be harmed." Rise above it my dears.

So I say remember this photo. Remember how people's fear can turn into violence. It may not be race relations that your generation has to fight for, but there will ALWAYS be others trying to suppress another group of people based on their own fears.


Alpha Monkey said...

Dar Willims has a line in a song: "In the land of the brave, we get the threat of the free. Go to the woods, go to the woods and see."

Opening their eyes and teaching them compassion is such a gift you have given them.

Living Foxy said...

I love this post. Your compassion and strength to stand up for what you believe in is so admirable. Great post.