We’ll start with the pretty pictures and then I’m going to take a moment to write my feelings about what has transpired during the last three days.
This bee is a wee bit bigger and I managed to snag a picture yesterday.
Cabbage moth in flight.
Pretty hollyhocks that I’m going to have to stake today as yesterday’s torrential rains have caused them to sort of fall over.
The past few days here in our country have been heartbreaking. I’m still trying to take it in. This is what I wrote on Facebook yesterday:
It’s all too much. Just a day or so ago, I was despairing the state of the world, the state of our county, the state of everything. So was my husband. “We need to pull away from the news for a while,” we said. “We want to go hide somewhere, live on an island, live off the grid, just get away.” I was all set to take a break from Facebook, where much is discussed and debated and where sometimes I can no longer bear to look at my feed and end up simply wishing whoever is having a birthday a happy birthday as I hurriedly sign off. But here I am again, sick at heart and appalled by two more senseless deaths, two murders of men who are guilty of nothing other than not being white. When will this stop? Yes, #blacklivesmatter. No one should have to fear for his life just because he’s driving a car or is walking down the street or is walking back from the store or is selling CDs or cigarettes on the street. Or is simply living his/her life. What makes me sad is that we even have to have a hashtag for something that is a basic right. We are all one, my friends. We are all one.
And then I wake up this morning to hear the terrible news from Dallas: five police officers were murdered – assassinated – at a peaceful demonstration where they were simply doing their jobs.
When will it end?
#blacklivesmatter – I see a lot of people countering this by saying #alllivesmatter. Of course they do. I understand the impulse and the truth behind that hashtag. That there are lives lost by the thousands every day, everywhere, is not up for debate. And each loss diminishes us, to paraphrase John Donne.
But immediately responding with ‘all lives matter’ weakens the core of a very real and profound plea. Racism exists in this country. It is ugly. It is wrong. I thought we’d come a long way, but my heart tells me we haven’t. Yes, all lives matter, but black lives are especially at risk in this country. Try raising a black child in the USA – especially a male black child. How do you prepare him for the fact that driving a car with a broken taillight can result in his death? Or that a walk down the street in a gated community after running an errand for his mother can result in his death? That being stopped by a cop means that he (or she) is now in danger of losing his life, that pulling out his license can be interpreted as ‘going for his gun.’ That going about his daily life is fraught with danger.
Of course all lives matter. As do the lives of the policemen who were murdered last night in Dallas. As do lives lost to violence, to massacres like Orlando, or Sandy Hook, to domestic violence, to Isis, to genocide, to – well, the list goes on and on. Every loss is heartbreaking and senseless.
But again: I’m talking about something very specific here and I’m not going to weaken it by resorting to that other hashtag. The very fact that we have had to single out a whole segment of our population with a hashtag says something about the state of race relations here in the United States of America in the year 2016.
But we do. Black Lives Matter. Speak out. Change must happen or we will lose the compassion and tolerance and love that should be at the heart of our being.
I’d like to point you toward Design Mom’s post about this. She speaks about this subject with wisdom and passion in a post titled Say Something. You can read it here.