Today my family went to the Million Artist Movement rally/protest in downtown Minneapolis. It’s part of #BlackLivesMatter response to the continuing racial injustice in cases like Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others.
It’s interesting. I’ve never really protested before. I’ve been to a few peace protests, mostly in response to 9/11 and the continuing war in Iraq, but I was more there as a journalist/observer than a participant.
Today I was here first and foremost as a dad. Secondly as a protestor myself.
It’s been kind of a bizarre week talking about these cases with our kids.
How do you explain all of this to your kids?
How do you explain what a “die in” is?
How do you explain to your brown-skinned son that police are killing brown-skinned people?
How do you explain that police are still heroes? That while this injustice happens and it’s bad and we want to stop it, not all police officers are bad?
None of it is easy, I can tell you that.
When we told Milo that Michael Brown and Eric Garner were black, he broke down in tears.
His reaction broke my heart. But it also seems like the only appropriate way to respond.
The civil rights movement may have been 50 years ago and we did elect a black president, but that doesn’t mean injustice is over. It’s still all around us, it’s still causing pain, and it’s our time to stop it.
At the rally they led us in a song. I shot a quick video of part of it:
Oh the day’s gonna come when I won’t march no more
The day’s gonna come when I won’t march no more
But while my sister ain’t equal
And my brother can’t breathe
Hand in hand with my family we will fill these streets.
I can’t help but think of the day that will come when we don’t have to march or cry or fight or despair no more. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. It’s a kingdom hope, but it doesn’t have to be an unattainable hope.
This whole thing is hard and complicated and painful and difficult. If you’re feeling those things, I feel them with you. Please listen.
At the end of the rally they had ribbons and asked us to write something on the ribbons. Here’s what we wrote: