Sometime ago, this blog was born. I’m so proud of the little rascal even if the other blog’s at school don’t play with him so much. Nothing wrong with taking your time.
We began in the midst of “monument anger” shortly before the shameful events that took place in Charlottesville. I’m sorry to see the town I once live in forever labeled for that one horrendous weekend. It’s a incrediblue Virginia college town. You should visit. And I digress.
When the first section (“Grace Park”) was written, our focus was on the monuments. The two ends of the yardstick were the “tear them down” and “do not touch” factions. Hatfields and McCoys have shared more love. There was something of a consensus that the newly appointed Monument Avenue Commission would ignore both ends and play to the middle. [link to report]
I found myself in the “keep, add context, compromise” group. Probably a pretty typical white liberal response. I found myself in this group but at the very edges — both left and right! surprised me too! — both the far left “tell our full history with brutal honesty — and — the far right “leave the statues as they are.”
Thus Grace Park was created. After specifying that if anyone actually has the money to create 27 actual monuments, she or he should spend said money in community education. (full disclosure: one of our goals is community education. see how well that worked out?)
The assumption is that we do change when we learn. When we listen. When we understand the other’s point of view regardless of our agreement or not.
With that in mind, could we use the subjects of monuments, school names, street signs, into learning opportunities in small, community gatherings? Within the safety of our groups — school, church, civic — commit to one only one honest discussion of race. Better still if it can be examined as you and your group like to learn (eg. your Book Club reads “The Black and The Blue” (my current read; recommended!)
The .ORG section of Grace Park is more than open to donations of your time, money, talent and passion. We would like to work with local experts in the field to create a self-assessment questionnaire on bias, prejudice and racism. As part of our workshops, field trips and social gatherings, we will give the individual evidence of change and growth.
The .ORG section (this blog) is composed of three very broad subjects: Classroom, Library and Newsroom. Our goal is that in conjunction with our “Speaking of Race” series
— to sidebar — WAWW video
We are better than this. We must make ourselves become better. We will take one small step, being grateful for all — all that in defiance of the hatred, the violence, the destruction — for all of that, to be grateful even now, it still remains a wonderful world. The outstretched hand, the hearing ear. The heart touched. The promise kept. The hope fulfilled. In bright eyes and joyful voices. Theirs is the kingdom.