Friday night’s attacks in Paris reached Julia and I while we were at a music conference with our community of musicians and promoters. Heartache and shock mingled with the fear that makes you want to lock yourself away. One of the DJs who informed us what had happened also told us that she lives in Boston and had just been talking to a completely segregated high school of black students. When she discussed the Civil rights movement with them, the students could not get their heads around white people risking their lives so black people could vote or white people wanting to help them at all since they are still experiencing such complete segregation. In the middle of the country, there is a woman who works for Black Lives Matter who was recently sent death threats by the kkk. She is being targeted because she has adopted black children. One of her friends came and got the children without hesitation. This DJ explained to the children in Boston that the kkk was a gang. A gang of white people with the same mentality as the Bloods and the Crips. She told them to remember that if they were being recruited by one of the gangs in town that the gang, like the klan and other terrorist groups, would be about violence and would be asking them to perpetrate violence for the sake of violence.
My friend Drake once said that with great light comes a great shadow. Recently, we have seen a shift in society with marriage equality and the confederate flag being taken down from the state capital of South Carolina. This backlash is part of the shadow created by the light of our desire to become more human.
We can cower before the shadow or we can refuse to be bullied and light up the globe from so many angles, the shadows get smaller. Seeing world monuments and people’s Facebook profile pictures flying the Tricolour in support of Paris shows me that we are still human and care for one another. It becomes all too easy to have a militaristic response and paint one another the role of the enemy. This is about an individual choice to be non-violent and more loving in our personal interactions. It is a time to uphold our friendships. Refuse to forgo your joy but feel it intensely and send it out into the shadows.
Liberty, equality, fraternity (and sorority baby)