Donning my new “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt the morning of July 8, Ron and I headed out to the Jefferson School and Justice Park to say no to the Klan’s gathering here, swallowing down the clench in our guts, but determined to celebrate Charlottesville’s diversity and counter white supremicism. Walking out our door, I realized that wearing that shirt, with that phrase, put a target on me.
Through the day I met the appreciative looks from people of color in our community. But I also felt compelled to make sure to meet the eyes of every police officer I met and wish them well, to express the hope that we would all be safe that day. I wanted to make sure they understood that their lives matter, too.
But when I got home that night, I had my biggest realization, one that has seared into my soul:
I could take off that shirt.
White, I can pass through our society with nary a concern that I might be singled out as a threat. Would that our sisters and brothers of color, all those who are considered different, could live their lives as free. Please join me in praying that someday soon it will be so.