A Reflection on Marching
Author: Larry Dansky
Several weeks ago, there was a march in Louisville in support of Black Lives Matter. Admittedly, I struggled some with the decision as to whether to participate or not. On one hand, I am 71 years old and have an underlying respiratory medical condition, so I was concerned about the risk of contracting the corona virus. On the other hand, I felt an urge to participate in support of an organization I believe in.
I took some time, asked for guidance, talked to family, and asked myself why I felt this need to participate. Of course, I wanted to march in support of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Aubrey, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and many others known and unknown. I wanted to march in support new ways of policing our communities.
But I also thought back to the late 1960’s when I participated in civil rights marches as a young adult. I joined thousands on the streets and saw how civil unrest and civil disobedience could change things. I had hoped, and naively assumed that the progress would continue. Here we are more than 50 years later living in a society where the value of a human life is still conditioned on the color of their skin.
Most importantly, I wanted to march for my 15 and 12 year-old African American grandchildren. When I hear people shout the phrase “Say his name”, I know that it could easily be followed by the shouting of my grandson’s name. My granddaughter is a beautiful, loving, and caring child (I admit to significant grandfather bias). I watched as she attended a George Floyd vigil holding a sign saying “Do I scare you?”. It broke my heart.
And so, I had to participate. I put aside my fears and marched in the streets again. I wore my mask and did my best to physically distance as much as possible. I marched because I want my grandchildren to grow up in a society where one is not judged by race, culture, sexual orientation/preference, or economic status. I want them to know that black lives do matter, and I pray that they will live in a society where every human being is considered to be a beloved child of God.