October 3, 2007

Peace Unto You

It has been 52 years since the vicious, brutal murder of 14 year old Emmett Till. It has been four years since his vigilant mother Mamie Till Mobley was laid to rest. This story shaped my views as a child from the hood. I am native to the Southside of Chicago. So, I witnessed Mrs. Till-Mobley being the kind of parent who never rested. She remained vocal.

Photo FBI Files

She maintained regal but firm when educating society about losing her baby to maliciousness.

She never ceased until she was called home.

So, there is a bit of value in yesterday's news which cited an apology to the Till Family from Tallahatchie County in Mississippi.

Is this an apology too late? I am not so sure. Many of American citizens today are riling in response to this news. Many are in an uproar and I must admit, it still hurts. An apology 52 years later is still an apology. Many of those who were involved, and or victimized, including the offenders, have since perished. Thankfully, society remembers. The images of his open casket, his bloated bashed head, and his body mangled were printed for us all to see in JET magazine. These sordid images can be summoned from my thoughts within the blink of an eye. The video of Mrs. Mamie Till clutched by arms all around her as she wailed for her pride and joy. Pre-Rosa Parks, Pre-Dr. Martin Luther King, Pre-Jessie Jackson. Pre-Jena 6.
Emmett Till was sacrificed. His young, short life played like a horrific nightmare.

I often thank him for his sacrifice in my prayers. It is because of him my own young son, when down south, does not have to step off the sidewalk when a white person passes. The fact that Tallahatchie County even considered an apology, when it is probably certain they still have legislation referring to people of color as chattel, is a step in the right direction. A gesture of peace should always be accepted as positive, even if it has villainous intentions, and I am not saying that theirs does, because it sets in motion within the universe a pathway to peace. And it is peace~~ peace of spirit, peace of mind, peace of heart that moves in and changes the world. No matter how minute it seems. Love and forgiveness is contagious. I feel good about that. I feel good that the family appeared and accepted the apology.

I liken apologies, whether they are meant or not, to when my son plays vigorously in the house with the dog. I always nicely ask that they take it outside before something gets broken and am ALWAYS ignored. When the milk spills, or the plate breaks, or the plant falls to the floor, I inevitably get an apology. He sort of means it. He IS sorry that it happened. He is aware however, that had he used better judgement, or listened, the circumstances may have turned out differently. Point is, I always accept the apology. I open my arms and there is an embrace. It feels good. It is an exchange of warmth and love and that is real. I clean up the mess, because his efforts were shoddy, and I move on. Will it happen again? YES. Will I be upset? YES. But an apology takes effort and courage. It does require thought. It serves a purpose of enlightenment and is ALWAYS a good thing.

These incidences of racism are still happening, maybe even as we speak. But every time there is an apology, and to be quite frank, I can not recall this ever happening before ~~ Please feel free to educate me ~~ it should be accepted. It should be talked about. And hopefully the circle of life will bring about change to a society that is in desperate need of love and compassion for all of its inhabitants.

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