BRIAN MAKES OUR KITES EACH YEAR FOR OUR CHURCH KITE DAY
Category Archives: Social justice
Until today, it never even occurred to me that my husband’s skin was a different color than mine. Sadly, we were reminded with a message of hatred and ignorance. When I picked him up from work today the story unfolded. He works at the Hendricks County Animal Shelter in Danville, IN. When he was hired he was told that he may encounter folks that might not like the fact that he’s black and he’s an officer. We didn’t think anything of it.
Honestly I thought, “I know its Hendricks county but we’ve become pretty well integrated,” and never worried that anything would actually happen. Today he was informed that the police were investigating something that happened late last night. Behind the shelter where he works you can see US HWY 36. You can also see the “Welcome to Danville” sign, which you can also see coming into Danville on US HWY 36. Someone had draped a sign over the Danville sign, visible from both the highway and the shelter. The sign read, “No Niggers”. My heart races and my stomach is in knots just typing that out. My heart dropped when I heard him say it out loud.
My first reaction was anger. “I wish I could face the person who did this and let them know just how ignorant and pathetic they are.” If I were completely honest I am still carrying some of that anger. But after grieving over this and asking why, trying to grasp how someone could think that someone is less of a person just because of the color of their skin, I am mostly heartbroken. I feel sorry for the person who can carry that mentality. I feel sorry for the way they were brought up and the things they must have been taught to become the sort of person who would do this.
What also makes me sad is that this person or these people who did this will never know Brian. And what a loss that is for them. They will never know his reaction to their hatred. They will never know that as all of his co-workers stared at him in disbelief and shock at this outrage, waiting for his response, Brian’s words made them laugh and set their minds at ease.
They will never see him command a crowd with his smile and his charm. They will never see him rule a stage from his drum kit. They will never see the hilarious, unique and sometimes down right ridiculous dances he does at home to entertain me and his son. They will never hear his infectious laughter or the beautiful dialect he speaks when talking to his friends and family in Barbados. They will never hear the music he makes. They will never see him interact with his son, worship God at his church, clean his messy house and cook dinner at the end of a long day at work because his wife is not feeling well enough to do it. They will never see the content of his character, his humility, his servant’s heart. They will never see that he is the kind of man who never sees an outsider. Nobody is unloveable. Everyone deserves a smile and a hello. Unfortunately, even if they did know Brian, all of that would be lost on them because Brian has never ever seen skin color. Now I am faced with the question, “How do I protect him from this? How do I protect my son?” Sadly, we live in a fallen world and I don’t think we will ever see the end of racism until Jesus returns to restore the earth to what it was originally intended to be. My only answer is that God is with us and he brings the Kingdom through us. The Kingdom has no race, color, sex, religion, none of it. So my cry to God is to teach me how to be the Kingdom builder in the face of racism because I’m sure it won’t be the last encounter. It will never stop breaking my heart and it will never make sense to me.