Anything I write that has to do with writing will be in From Pico's Pen, my author's blog. Everything that doesn't fit any of the sites I write on will be here. This is my practice. I could have kept it private and farmed out the good stuff but I found my readers like too much of it to do that. It isn't a diary because there are things I keep to myself but you can learn a great deal about me from the randomness you will find here.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Church Shooting

I rarely comment on current events especially divisive or emotional charged ones. Right now I am really bothered by an event that occurred in South Carolina. It's been all over the news. A young white man went to a church prayer meeting. The members of this church are black. After being there for about an hour he went on a shooting rampage that left nine church members dead. I do not have words - evil and satanic come to mind but don't begin to describe how I feel.

I'm as physically white as a person can possibly be. Blond hair blue eyes, I wouldn't be surprised if you went back twenty generations in my family tree and still didn't find someone with an olive complexion. I only knew one black kid growing up and he was in a different grade at school. I believe he was descended from slaves who escaped to Canada through the underground railway but I didn't really know him very well.

My first real encounter with black Americans was on a family camping trip. We were camping in upstate New York and wanted to attend a church service. I was probably about eleven years old at the time. My dad found a likely candidate in either the yellow pages or some campground flier. We got all dressed up in our best and drove to this if I remember correctly Baptist church. When we got there everyone was black except us and a couple other guests. We assumed that we wouldn't be welcome and prepared to quietly leave. They made sure we knew that this was not true and insisted on having us share in their worship service. So we attended with them. It turned out to be an unforgettable cultural lesson and I mean that positively. I think that this event has influenced my view of other races more than anything else I've been exposed to since that time.

Without a doubt this is why this church shooting bothers me so much. These were good people. People who extended the hand of fellowship to someone who was obviously different. People who prayed together and wanted peace. How much damage has been done to what little trust there is between the races? I pray that for all our sakes that this damage can be healed. I pray for the victims and their families. We all bleed the same and we all hurt the same when we lose loved ones especially in something as senseless as this.

A world without racism would be a much better place.