I try to avoid watching the news, as the negativity is incredibly draining to me. The challenge? My very peaceful husband is a self-proclaimed news junkie. This evening after a great yoga class, we settled in front of the television for Dan to catch up on the news while I explored the internet on my IPad. I couldn’t help but notice when the interview came on with two women who had been children in the Birmingham of the 60s, whose home had been bombed twice and had survived. Their story was chilling, heartbreaking.
Birmingham is a very different place now, but I still see the residue of prejudice hanging over the city. As our city celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, we like to believe that we have come so far, that the hate is gone. I wish that were true, but I still see the vestiges of prejudice. I’m sure that things are better than they were when police dogs attacked people and children were assaulted with strong sprays of fire hoses, just because of the color of their skin. We want to believe that everything is hunky dory, that we have come so far, but it is still there…the thinly veiled layer of prejudice, the fear of those who are different, and a hatred toward those who represent the culture of violence from days supposedly past.
This makes me so sad as someone living in the Deep South. I don’t understand the deeply ingrained hatred. I truly see hatred as being a taught behavior, something passed down through the generations, born of ignorance. Something that can be changed with education.
What if….what if we saw the people of our city as a wonderful mixture of culture, of knowledge, of diversity. Instead of expecting everyone to be the same, think the same way, look the same way, what if we saw the beauty that comes from the melding of all that is different? What a different world it would be. I have so much hope for Birmingham, our ‘Magic City’. Change will happen one person at a time, with education, with patience, with love. I will do my part…my city is worth it.