Peaceful Protest

As bad as it seems in America right now, I’m hopeful. Hopeful that things will change for the better.

While it is heartbreaking to see the rioting and looting in our great cities, I’m encouraged by the peaceful demonstrations and protests.

People want change.

I walked Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard earlier this week, and I saw police cars. Then, I saw protestors. Protestors walking peacefully being escorted by law enforcement. All races too. Young, mostly.

I stopped. Just stopped to watch it happen. No looting. Nothing out of hand. Just people exercising their right to be heard.

My last post, “Tired Enough” was about how we are just tired of it all. The racism in this country. Now, I write about how we do something about it.

Black screens on social media. It’s a small thing. Easy to do. Well, I had to get someone to tell me how to do it… but it turned out to be easy. Important, too. We are coming together in this country.

Change is hard. Systemic change is really hard. Not impossible. People want this. It’s happening.

As we watch these protests happen, we also see those in power are changing.  A black woman was elected mayor in Ferguson, Missouri.  A man known for his racist comments was voted out of office in Iowa.  It calls to mind the phrase “paradigm shift.” Those things we have always accepted as unwritten rules lose their influence and are taken over by something new.

Ella Jones is the first African-American mayor in Ferguson, Missouri.  Six years ago, Ferguson was the scene of protests after the police killing of black teenager Michael Brown.

Representative Steve King of Iowa lost his Republican primary.  King is a nine-term congressman with a history of racist remarks.

The New York Times reports Tuesday was a day of “historic wins for women of color.”  It turns out black and Hispanic women won elections in many states this week.

A paradigm shift is happening.

This, I think, is what it will take.  For real change, we have to vote for change.

I was so hopeful about 2020. It just sounded like it was going to be a great year.  A new decade.  It felt like you could hear Barbara Walters ring it in,  “This is 20/20.”

The new year, it appears, had other ideas. Coronavirus. Now, the death of George Floyd.

You know though, as bad as it has been so far this year, maybe 2020 is our reset year. Our time to fix things.  We are making our way through a pandemic. We will make our way through the death of George Floyd. A paradigm shift is happening.  I’m hopeful.

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