Captain Mom's Log: Week 14: Day 92
Needless to say, I got slightly derailed since my last post. I was about to give up writing this blog all together when someone thanked me for writing these today. So, here I am. Back in the saddle.
But...how can I write about my goofy self when humanity continues to spiral downward into a withering hole of its own making? I have gone back and forth in my head daily about what I could possibly write on this page that would be appropriate. If I stay silent, I'm not doing my part as a white person. If I speak up, how can my words not sound preachy and white privileged and all wrong? Whatever I write, it will not be enough. It won't right the wrongs. It will sound wrong. It won't scratch the surface of making a difference. But it is a start. And it will be from my heart. Perhaps at the very least, it will spark a ripple in the right direction.
My heart is still breaking. I still suck in air and fight back guttural sobs when I watch heartfelt videos or hear moving speeches. Early on, I showed Chief Mate a video of a kindergarten teacher attempting to explain racism to her class. I hiccuped back the tears and he looked at me askance, pressed pause, and then walked away. I didn't know if he was embarrassed, bored, or uncomfortable. I was furious.
"This is important," I said in my At-the-playground-you-don't-punch-your-friends Teacher Voice. He looked at me. Unsure of where this voice came from. He certainly has never seen me at work where I break up fights every month. I sometimes feel like I live a double life. That's not true. Every day I feel like I live a double life. Each foot stands a world apart, never fully rooted in either world and yet unable to leave either side.
Schools held Town Hall Meetings on Zoom. My school stopped teaching for a day. An entire day dedicated to checking in. Are you okay? Do you have questions?
"I saw a video with my mom..."
"I wish Martin Luther King Jr. was still here today. He could talk some sense into these people."
It was a day of tears, kindness, support. Importance. Black Lives Matter. You matter. You are important. The world sucks, but we are here for you.
Not at Chief Mate's school. A week rolled by. No one said a word to the kids. Then finally they joined the Town Hall Meeting bandwagon. Roly Poly kids antsy to get this over with. They weren't getting it. They didn't see the videos. They don't live in fear. Not at this school.
"I think it doesn't matter what color your skin is, we are all the same inside," one doe-eyed girl smiles. She echoes her parents' words.
But it does matter. Ethnicity matters. Black lives matter.
I desperately want to join the conversation, share what I've seen on the other side. On the other planet. But I'm sitting just out of view wiping the tears streaming down my face. If I open my mouth I am afraid of the strangulated sounds that will come out. I don't want to scare Chief Mate who is one of the wiggly ones. When is this over? he mouths. He doesn't get it. My own kid. The tears keep racing down my face.
I am silent. I am not doing my part. I'm dying to say something. To chat to the counselor running the show, share with her my thoughts. Skin color is important. It's a part of who we are, who they are. We can't be color blind. Yes, we should all be treated the same, but the ugly truth is that we are not. We are different and that is beautiful. It needs to be accepted. It needs to be celebrated. It is what makes us human.
The school did try. They did say the right things. But it's not enough. It's a start. But we need to do better. This is far from over.
Text "Floyd" to 55156