As Chet and I began marching along side thousands of silent protesters yesterday, Friday June 12th 2020, here in Seattle, I asked myself one very important questions: Why am I marching?
Fake news is not to be trusted and there’s nothing better than being present and see first hand what’s really happening, historically, in America today. The march was mostly attended by white people, it was peaceful if you exclude some of the hateful signs and the rainy-cold weather was something I could handle. (Due to sound sensitivity the silence was why I could be there and the weather was another plus.) I felt healthy and strong enough to be there, but the other reasons I was there are explained in the sentences below.
There’s two sides to every coin.
Back in 1993, when I stepped foot for the first time on American soil as a legal alien with no rights to vote and an American husband by my side I saw for the second time in my life black people in real life (it was my first time for Asians, Mexicans, Indians and Samoans) and I marveled thinking: I can’t believe how imaginative God can be in his masterful work. I never, not for one second considered myself superior. In fact it may have been the opposite- the communistic propaganda learned over the years does not drop off you just because you stepped across another country’s border- for you see I was tolled by the system, mostly in school, that I was an inferior human being for two reasons: I was a woman and I was a christian. But I digress.
Since that day in 1993 I’ve had many black friends, mostly women, and I loved hanging out with them, seeing nothing but a human being on the other side of my conversation and friendship. I like to give my mother full credit for that. She raised us, the Damean kids, to believe that every human being is God’s child, created equally and equally important. (You see, back during communism times when I was only nine years old or so, my parents hid in our small apartment an African missionary. If caught by the communist party they would’ve faced jail or worse- be put to death. All their christian friends were too afraid to take the poor man in but not my mother. Not my mother! Who I believe to be the strongest human being I’ve even met. She not only took this wonderful man in, fed him and sheltered him, but along the years took many street children in, if only for a day, bathed them, fed them, and clothed them. Her heart always had room for those in need and she saw everyone as God’s children, some marginalized by society.) Thus I grew up, along my siblings, eating at the same table with those rejected by society be that an African man or the poor or the rejected children living on the street. My mother thought us that all people were God’s children and we should take care of them, not harm them. So you see one of the reason for marching it has to do with my upbringing and seeing other people (not color), suffer. I marched because I understand suffering.
Now, time passed since 1993 and about five years ago I was startled by a black man. (It was not his fault. I was suffering the neurological consequences Lyme disease and its complications brought in my life at the time. The poor man apologized deeply even thought he was not in the wrong.) That’s when I also realized for the first time that a part of me was also scared of him, part of that fear was associated with Lyme disease the other part was associated …with what exactly? What changed in me since 1993? I took time and pondered on this, sorting time and memories to find the answer. It came down to two culprits: media and a close American relative who on numerous occasions showed fear and spoke that fear out loud while I was around, warning me of hidden dangers I never thought about.
Loving and recognizing that all of humanity are God’s children created no fear in my heart, but suspicion and prejudice did. I was not aware of the American history on race until I came here and learned it. But the media fueled what once used to be and no longer needed to be repeated. Communism used media to control people’s minds and separate them. By separating us it’s easy to conquer us. So I marched because I refuse to allow the lying media separate us.
Since my future son-in-law is part black this hits even closer to home for us. He’s an extraordinary young man and I see thought his silent eyes some of the struggles he’s had to endure. I also hear loud and clear the grace and forgiveness his heart constantly bestows on those who wronged him. I see God in him, I see Jesus’s example in action. It’s very healing and so human. I marched in the thunderous silence for those wonderful human beings who lost their lives while innocent, or less perfect, because of expressed hatred.
While marching I thought of all those suffering from lyme disease or other horrible illness which leave them disabled and stuck in their bed or behind closed doors too fatigue or ill to march alongside me. I thought of you and your desire to come along if only the frail body would allow it. I like to think I represented you in that march.
Here comes the other side of the coin, the conflicting part within myself.
I do not believe in the politicized version of Black Life Matter movement, you know that part which expresses anger and hate by destroying other people’s hard earned livelihood.
I do not believe in police defunding. Why? They follow orders from higher up; it’s the politicians who give the orders of how the society should be run. If I believe in defunding anyone, and I do, I believe in defunding the crooked politicians with hidden agendas and their megaphone puppets we know as “media”. They are the ones that made me aware of racism, not God. (Here I don’t add the misguided people who speak in the name of God spreading hate meanwhile seriously disconnected from Jesus’s message. For Jesus did’t die on the cross for white, rich people that believe only a certain denomination is “the right one” he died for all, including those who hated him and didn’t believe in him.)
In conclusion, I’m not sure if I helped anyone by writing this blog, or if I’ve simply added to the pile of opinions out there irrelevant in some manner, but I do stand for one thing: All people (be them nice or not) were made in the image of God and all are his children and if every single one of us really believed that we would not have marches of any kind because we’d be too busy living peacefully among ourselves.
God help us see that.