While I wasn’t born nor grew up in Coweta County, I was reared in the South.
I came of age in the 60s in Gainesville, Florida (yes, I know I’ve just lost most of my credibility). My high school integrated my senior year with one African American in each class.
My mother grew up in Atlanta with my racially prejudiced grandmother. Mom demonstrated only acceptance and tolerance for people who were different from us. My sister and I were taught to respect all people, religions and cultures. I’m blessed to have been reared that way.
As “flower children” of the 60s, we prided ourselves on being in tune with a similar feeling of empathizing with the disrespect and discrimination that African Americans felt, and still feel. I attended two demonstrations while going to college in North Carolina. One was at Cone Mills for worker rights and the other was in Raleigh for civil rights.
As I aged, returning in some ways to “normal” society, I felt as though I had demonstrated my part in the struggles, and now it was "your turn.”
But you know what? The events of the last year have caused me to reevaluate my lack of participation in the fight against inequality. I now realize it’s an ongoing quest that must be embraced each day.
To become not just non-racist, but anti-racist.
The fact that I may have done more for the cause in one year than lots of people ever do in a lifetime does not excuse me from continuing to demonstrate fairness, acceptance and caring for those affected by bigotry and hate.
May I have the good fortune to encourage others to work toward a world of love and compassion.