As I have mentioned before, I live on an island that is rural. No stop lights and only a couple of juke joints/stores. But I live close enough to the city and suburbia to feel connected to what goes on. The recent killing of an unarmed man by a police man made national headlines and has created a lot of discussion locally.
I am glad that the actions by the mayor and police chief were swift and averted riots and other civil unrest. But the basic fact that lethal force was used is chilling. I am no fan of the police. I respect that they have a job to do, but I have seen too much of their abuse of power in my life. I have not been arrested. I have been stopped once for an expired inspection sticker, so I have nothing of a personal nature that generates the fear. But I have images in my head from TV coverage of the Vietnam war protests of the 60's and the brutality of the police during desegregation marches. Large men with guns and clubs and an attitude don't make me feel comfortable.
I know how tense racial relations are in the deep South and in this state particularly. The island that I live on is 80% black. And I feel comfortable with that because I know many of the families, and they are good people. I wonder at their fear and anxiety. Is it similar to mine? A lot of racial tension is still here. We do our best to cover it up and pretend otherwise. Politeness abounds at the surface. But racism remains like a scab over a deep rotting wound. The only thing that makes sense to me is the sound of the waves breaking on the beach; the sound of the frogs in the wetland near the house; the breath of my horse as he nuzzles me; the concert of birdsong that exploded as the sun rose over the ocean; and the love for others bending and drowning out everything else.