Friday, December 12, 2014

What do I do?

Everyday I see a new story about the police beating someone.  I do not know what to do about it.  In my younger years I would have been in the streets every night demanding change.  Now, I have a family and a 7 year old to care for.  I have to temper my actions right?

If so, does not that mean I am also not doing my part to offer her the best world I can?  Does just talking with Kaleigh about police brutality, capitalism, racism, etc. do enough?  Being knowledgeable is certainly important but it is not going to solve the issue.

On the other hand, neither does holding signs and singing songs in the streets.  Not to mention that we all know moving within the system is a total waste of time if we want fundamental change and not appeasing reforms.

I want Kaleigh to grow up happy, safe, and experiencing freedom.  With living as a white girl in rural Maine, she is in a good position to experience much of that.  It makes me feel frustrated; Kaleigh should not be any more inclined to experience those feelings than anyone else.  Torn between being grateful and privileged is a difficult line in the sand.

What do I do for myself?  What do I do for the world I live in?  What do I do for my community?  Most importantly, what do I do for Kaleigh?

With each beating the pressure to act grows.  With each beating I wonder what to do.  With each beating the fury builds.  With each beating I feel trapped.  Each day I feel like lighting the world on fire.  Fire changes everything.

Oh, here is some food I made so I do not alienate my readership too harshly.


Catherine said...

Vic, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all of the fear, hate, anger, and violence in the world, in whatever form it comes in. This may sound overly simplistic, but do what you can. My favorite quote of all time is from Helen Keller:
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
Protests are important, because they raise awareness. Riots do nothing except further divide people. In my opinion, the way to make lasting change is in relationships with other people. Do good work at the grassroots level. Find somewhere to volunteer, somewhere to make a difference. Focus on your local community, in whatever way you can. And focus on the love, the change, the positivity you see in the world -- it's there, too, sometimes it just gets overshadowed.

Shaheen said...

Hi Vic,
I live in the UK and yes police brutality in the States is headlining here. I am of South Asian origin and have experienced racism etc and have seen polices poor response in the UK too, time once when I would protest like you, but with age comes change and responsibilities, I totally sympathise and understand where you are coming from. I work with grassroots minority and disadvantaged groups in the UK, we see our fair share of injustice that has in the past led to riots, but not on the scale seen in the US. Only way I feel I make a change now is working with people direction and hope to encourage small changes there in peoples attitudes.