peaceful protestHow do you react to adversity? For me, it all depends. I’m a Christian. I like to think of myself as a pacifist. Yeah, I know. Me? A pacifist? With my temper and sharp tongue?

It’s what I like to think. I didn’t say it was particularly realistic.

The problem is that when I curb my tongue, I often go too far. When I try to dampen down my response I often don’t react beyond a thought in my head. “Wow. That was racist.” I think it, but that’s as far as it goes. I’ve gone beyond pacifist straight into passive.

Unfortunately, passive is just as bad as losing your temper. When you’re passive, people make the assumption that certain things are acceptable.

Yesterday we had a swim meet. An away meet, we found ourselves in a community that is less diverse than our own. Yes, non-whites are there but in low enough numbers that the whites still live in denial.

As they left the building, a swimmer on the other team put on an ape mask. “Oh, it’s just a mask. He didn’t mean anything by it.” Really? Then why did he wait until his coach couldn’t see him?

Our swimmers got the message loud and clear and the adults in our group immediately got to work settling our swimmers down. These boys are close. They may give each other grief but if you insult even a handful of them, you’ve insulted them all. We kept them out of trouble but was that all we should do?

Did I want to be passive about this or peacefully protest?  It took time to calm myself down enough to communicate effectively and then to convince myself that really, I had to do something.  I know God wants me to protest injustice but why me?  Why couldn’t someone else do something?  Because, I’m an adult, I saw what happened and, I know it’s wrong.

I opted for peacefully protest.  I don’t know who the coach is, but I’ve sent an e-mail to the principal of the school. It took me some time to compose a polite message that still said what I had to say loud and clear — This is not acceptable.  I protest.

–SueBE

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