Sunday, May 31, 2015

Kids and Kops In The Streets (In Peace)

An extended version of this article is posted on Anastasia The Storyteller

The occasion that prompted New Horizons’ Kids and Kops In Conversation event to be 
rescheduled was a “Stop The Violence March” (later renamed the Frederick Unity March). It was held, as our originally planned Kids and Kops in Conversation program was to have been), on Saturday, May 16.

Once the request was put to us that we join in with the March as a show of community unity, there was no doubt about it; the March needed to take priority. Especially on the heels of the recent tragedy of one more African American man’s life cut short by the police in Baltimore – and – Baltimore being only a few miles from us in Frederick.

There was no other place for me to be on that day. The kids and the kops were marching so was I!

The amazing thing was that once I had settled myself (and the ruffled feathers of a few volunteers and supporters of the conversation project) with the upheaval the new plan created for New Horizons, I saw the gift it was. Thus it wasn’t long before it stood out to me that a conversation event, by contrast to a March such as this, might be considered like a classroom in comparison to field trip.

The opportunity for us was that we were being invited to go out onto the streets and experience change in motion. Rather than just conversing about it (although dialogue is, too, part of the change in motion that we need).  

Still on the streets we would learn a few things a classroom could not teach. We would, at the March, be right in the center of some of the other things of what it’s taking and going to take to heal the wounds that are dividing the people in this country at this time.

The March did not exactly take me to the most downtrodden; the homeless, addicts and other disenfranchised souls. All I was doing was simply marching with a handful of at-risk youth and community leaders in our local, nearby community.  Yet there was, for me, a kind of restoration; an opening, perhaps, to a part of my disregarded humanity by my getting outside my ordinary comfort zone.

One thing I know for sure from being out on the  streets that day for the March with “kids and kops” is that it breaks my heart to see little four and five year old boys, as I did, marching to affirm that their little “lives matter.” Of course, they do!

OMG! Childhood, especially in the United States of America, shouldn’t need to include paying heed to such as this. I don’t want this burden for them. I don’t want them to fight for their G-d given and Constitutional rights!

I want them to be free of such weighty concerns, free to be safe and grow and thrive – and – develop a beautiful character that knows all that is good and just, acting accordingly.

But so it is!

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