It has been an unsettling year. The issues we have witnessed in 2018, from our government to our community have been quite alarming. The rise in racial tensions with an increase in hate crimes, mass shootings and killings has really raised the question, “Have we gone back to the past in the way we treat each other?”
I remember growing up in Roanoke, seeing racial hatred first-hand. I witnessed Ku Klux Klan rallies in the streets of Downtown Roanoke. I witnessed the after effect of my ignorant neighbors breaking into our house and demolishing everything we owned and leaving the word n – – – – r painted and smeared on the walls. I have been attacked by white boys as I walked home from school because at that time we were the only black family in the neighborhood. I remember my mother telling me that one day these things will not happen anymore. She taught me to be hopeful, that our community, our country would progress and move forward.
In some ways, there has been forward progress. Civil rights between gender and sexuality have progressed significantly, however racial tension and the hate that fuels it, still burns feverously in our country. Incidents at Charlottesville, Florida, California and Pittsburgh have us wondering where our country is headed. The lack of leadership coming from our government has left America like a boat without any oars. We are just sitting still. No movement. No direction.
While we wait for a transition in government to happen, we must take it upon ourselves to find oars and start paddling toward a direction that is positive and loving. The hate that is consuming our great nation can’t move us back to the past where many lived with resentment and fear. We must move forward with combined hearts and the vision mothers hope will happen for their sons, daughters and grandchildren. I pray 2019 brings that renewed perspective and together we can truly uphold the great principles of this great nation.