we do nothing…

Children die in school shootings. They are trained to self-protect in the classroom. We cry. We pray for their families. We do nothing.

Hispanic workers can’t get tested for COVID 19. They aren’t citizens. Their children, who were born here, watch them rounded up by authorities and cry on their way home to an empty house. We do nothing.

Black men are murdered by other black men, by gang members, by store owners, by police. We talk about the unfairness. We do nothing.

People live on the street in Arizona in 110 degree temperatures. We deliver water. We drive them to shelters. We drop off clothing and toothpaste. But we do nothing.

Jewish friends are careful what they say or do in public. Their synagogues are burned. Bomb threats are made. We shake our heads in disbelief. We say how wrong it is. But we do nothing.

The gay couple next door watch for bumper stickers indicating your political or religious stance before mentioning their wedding. They make certain children on the block believe they’re just good friends. We sympathize with their situation. We tell them we’re not homophobic. We do nothing.

A Hispanic man and a white woman enter a restaurant in an exclusively white suburb. Most heads turn, if only for a moment. No one criticizes or boos, they simply take a quick glance. The message is still clear.

We talk, we actually grieve, we swear it can’t happen again. That lasts for a few days, a few months, a few years. But we do nothing.

There are over 1000 white supremacist organizations in 2020. Their numbers grow exponentially. We read about it in the paper. We watch documentaries. We talk about the newest groups forming underground.

In 1962 I invited a girl from my high school chorus to meet me at our local drug store soda fountain after school. I had forgotten she wasn’t allowed to enter the store or sit at the counter. It is now 2020, and I woke up this morning wondering what the hell happened to all our promises and dreams? The generation of change. The anti-war, anti-racism, anti-hate generation. The John F. Kennedy generation. What happened?

When will we actually stop talking, sobbing, writing, protesting, agonizing over what to do, and just, for God’s sake, do something? Today I ask myself – what am I going to do?

 

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