Sadness

I need to write. I need to express my thoughts for no one, then for myself. By now we all know who George Floyd is/was. Last night Sanj and I were watching CNN and the protesting against the police in so many different states. I watched another video that was longer and up close (more so than the original video that was initially circulating) as that cop kneeled on George Floyd’s neck and you could see that moment that he stopped all movement. You could hear the bystanders yelling, at some points, begging the cops to let him breathe. It has left me breathless. It has left me afraid. It has made me question the cops and the basic humanity.

When Sanj and I moved to Peterborough 25 years ago, it was predominantly a white town. To say that we would count the number of non-white families wouldn’t probably be much of a stretch. LOL! The non-white families seemed to be educated or successful and respected in town. Over the years that has changed as more and more minorities have moved in. I was never really scared for my boys. They had a few moments where they were asked ignorant questions but for the most part, they have always been respected.

This week as this ugliness unfolded I felt panicked for my siblings, cousins, my adoptive family, for my friends, for their children. I felt fear for us as a country. I am Canadian. But there is a piece of me that will always be American.

Peterborough has always felt safe to me. Then there was the story that unfolded this February. This is a family that are friends. Sanj and the father played together. Zachary hung out with these boys. They are my Zachary and Jordan’s ages. They went to jail! I couldn’t even imagine the nightmare. It was as if a family member went to jail. The father had been at our house to say hi maybe a month before. How was this possible? A lot of prayers went up. People rallied from our churches and prayers went up for God to do His thing. Then in April this. How does one ever overcome something like this? These two kids were not even in this town that the crime happened in.

There has been a huge growth of immigrants in Peterborough. It is a college and university town and now this predominately white town is no longer a town with a few minorities scattered.

My kids have had to deal with prejudice, ignorance and hurtful comments and events. Our family dealing with prejudice at the rink. I am so nervous about what may happen if they are at the wrong place at the wrong time as the Simmond boys were. A couple of days ago, Max was working at the local grocery store and a man came up to him and beckoned him over.

Last weekend Jordan, Josh and I were at Canadian Tire. Jordan was loading up our stuff and unknowingly dropped his Starbucks drink. As we were driving away a small built white man in the van in front of us, with a bunch of young kids was waiting with his doors open, yelled at Jordan is pure ugliness:

“Pick up your trash! Keep our country clean!”

There was such venom in his tone. People were looking. Jordan apologized that it was a mistake. But as this man continued on his tyrant about keeping his country clean, they boys yelled back. Josh his 6’3 maybe taller with this afro, and Jordan with his big self got out of the car, to pick up his cup and stand up to his small in statue bully. They would never have done anything unless physically atttack but really? This man’s children all under the age of 10 were watching. Prejudice is a learned behavior. In that momnet my heart broken for those poor children. What did their father just teach them?

I am paraphading this event in my words. Yesterday Max was a work in his grocery store. He was in his isle doing his thing. A man came up to him and beckoned him. “Where are all of you from?”

Max: “From here, Peterborough.”

The man: “But no really, from where? Like that guy over there. The man pointed to a young guy wearing a turban. “What is he?” The man acknowledged he was from the backwoods. lol

My boys are born and raised in Peterborough. It broke my heart that in that moment Max was on guard for a racist comment from this man.

Why are we so threatened by other differences? We teach our babies to love everyone and then we teach them even louder by our actions.

Tensions are high. My kids have had to learn that there is hatred toward them just for the way they look. It is a heartbreaking reality. And yet we all have our prejudices. Don’t we?

As I watch the ugliness unfolding and can’t help but wonder how heartbreaking God’s heart must be. I am ending this post without really wrapping it up because this is how it feels to me, unresolved.

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