In early September our church participated in the local Mukilteo Light House Festival parade. Janet and I decided to walk with the church group and to wear our recently purchased “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts. It seemed like a small step in support of anti-racism.
The parade went off without a hitch and we got lots of smiles and waves. As we were walking back from the parade, there were lots of people gathered in parking lots and open spaces. As we passed one parking lot we heard a young male adolescent voice shout out, “Black lives DON’T matter!”
We stopped for a second, quite stunned that someone would actually say something like that. I turned around to see if I could tell who it was and I could not. We walked on to our destination without further incident.
This incident has really made us think. We experienced the smallest mustard seed of the mountain of racism that many Black people experience every day. We felt singled out and insulted. But consider this, we can go home and take the shirts off. We can decide not to wear the shirt the next day. Black people can do neither. They are the shirt.
I think one thing we will be doing is wearing our shirts much more often and in more places, simply as a statement of solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters. What would you think about buying a BLM t-shirt and experiencing the smallest mustard seed of what it might be like to be Black? Are you willing to learn what that might be like? It might be pretty scary. It might be pretty powerful!
I would love to hear about your experience.