Sunday, July 5, 2020

At the interfaith vigil

This past week, my wife and I participated in an event in our community billed as an "interfaith vigil." You might have called it a protest, because basically we stood along the street and held up signs.

Every rally or protest or vigil I've ever been to has been somewhat different from the others. The atmosphere at this one was quietly joyful, which was a bit of a surprise, even though it took place at high noon on a Wednesday, which seems like an odd time for something called a "vigil" (usually I think of those as occurring at night and being associated with specific tragic events).

One doesn't usually worry too much about bad things happening on a Wednesday at noon, but there have been several reports lately of persons driving their cars into protestors and many others suggesting that people ought to do that, so I had a bit of anxiety going in as to what might happen. But it was all fine. The most peaceful event of the many peaceful events that have happened this year (most of what violence there is being at night).

This year has been traumatic for everybody, but we should all be aware by now that people of color can be especially traumatized even by the fact that suddenly white folks want to talk about race 24/7 in public after years of trying to ignore it. At this event, though, several persons of color drove by in their cars and trucks and smiled and waved and honked, apparently glad to see the mostly white participants holding up signs saying Black Lives Matter. For a moment it felt like that cozy world where everybody gets along and everyone is united by respect and love. Of course that world melts away once policy decisions have to be made and white people learn that just carrying signs isn't going to make all the badness go away. But it was still nice to experience it, briefly, if only for a respite, a recharge, and a vision of what utopia might look like if we ever go there. We won't, but, it was nice anyhow for an hour on a Wednesday.

Everybody was masked and socially distanced, six feet apart. There were little marks on the sidewalk for everybody to stand. Since we had a small group of folks from our church it meant we got to see each other in three dimensions after months of appearing only like small, flat images on each other's computers. 

That was nice, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I don't bite...mostly.