Friday, June 26, 2015

Can We Talk?

This is a political post. 

My father owned a dry cleaner for a number of years. I learned a lot there: hard work (because my father believed in it), how to deal with irate people (because destroying someone's favorite skirt is a real bummer) and how to tolerate things. Because on more than a few occasions, I handled an Confederate article of clothing. We cleaned it as best we could, pressed it if the fabric could stand it, bagged it up and charged the customer just as if it were there best Sunday go to meeting clothes. Which in a few cases it very well may have been.

(In the interest of full disclosure as a child I was a Dukes of Hazzard fan and as I think I've related here before, I probably pushed my parents tolerance levels to 1000 when I asked for and got a toy "General Lee" as a Christmas present.)

Having a learned a little bit, having gotten a little older, I don't particularly care for the flag, but it is what is.

That is my South Carolina upbringing. You just don't think about it.

There are a lot of conversations we can have in the wake of the horror that happened in Charleston. In a nation that as of late appears rife with racial tensions and clear evidence of systemic racism, and unambiguous act of terrorism might just be the catalyst to get us all talking. Maybe one of those conversations will be about how we still have a huge issue with race even though we have a black president. Maybe one of them will be about the mostly unnecessary and dangerous level of access of weapons we have in this country. Maybe we could get the one about how the media has a tendency to demonize one race. Maybe it will even be about how we handle tragedy...with kindness and forgiveness in the face of concept versus the of pointing fingers and destruction...or even howls of pain directed at the guilty. It is my belief that all we really need is a conversation, one serious honest conversation free from the confines of self induced bias, to get things kicked off.

The question is, will we even get one, just one, before we get sidetracked?

Oh wait, we're talking about the flag.

Sidetracked already.


Sidetrack Image via Tumblr, via Twitter...from CNN

No comments: