Jump on The Freedom Buss and Ride!
One sunny day, May fourth, 1961, a group of people who had experienced being hated on, abused, shunned an even physically attacked, boarded a big ole buss and left Washington DC headed for New Orleans; they called themselves the Freedom Riders!
It was a world changing event that lasted throughout my youth and well beyond. The riots, the beatings and even murders; it’s a heart wrenching, sickening thing to glance back on to see how people treated people.
Three months after the Freedom Riders boarded that first bus, and to the day, October 4th, I left my Mama’s womb and began my own freedom ride out in the big wild world.
My parents were avid news watchers turning on the little 14 inch black and white TV like clockwork each evening as the supper dishes were cleared from the table by my younger sister n me.
We would watch the events played out each evening through out our youth; the assassination of JFK, Bobby Kennedy’s murder, the stand of Martin Luther King and the ongoing pressure placed on the world to stop its ridiculousness toward a different people.
Fast forward to October 3rd, 1995; I’m working in a club in BC Canada in a country music band; drummer and vocalist. We had just finished our night on stage when in walks a famous country music singer from the deep south of USA.
A room full of country folk gathered round the “ singing star” admiringly hoping for an autograph, until one disgusting comment passed his lips regarding the OJ Simpson trial which was all over the news then.
I remember like it was yesterday as the “N” word passed his lips along with the other disparaging words he had said.
Quickly and systematically the big group around him simply walked away like he had passed some really, really bad gas. There he stood, alone at the bar. Now he was alone.
Fast forward to November 4th, 2008, Obama won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to 173 received by McCain. Progress is being made!
August 8th, 1942 Papa Gandhi said, “we will not resort to violence, but we will simply not comply”.
As we glance back through history, we can see clearly that when we use consistent and steady pressure of who we are and our freedoms as human beings on this planet, change occurs, though at times seems painfully slow.
In the recent comments made by the current president of the USA toward Transgender people who want to serve their country in the military, know this my friends, his time will pass and his small minded! And regardless of the ignorance that pervades still in the minds of some of the world, I am one tiny part of a quiet resistance refusing to be silenced and marginalized.
Each of us can look upon ourselves as those small minds see us; that is of course one option.
We can view ourselves as insignificant, less than or not good enough if we so choose to, but we do have another option.
We can hold our heads high, decide who we are, and continue to show the world that although we may be different in our own wonderful ways, we too are worthy of Kindness, Love and Respect and we will settle for nothing less!
Almost every relative I have, including myself, have served in the Canadian Armed forces and many of them live(d) on the rainbow.
This week, take a moment again to look into the mirror and smile through those pretty painted lips; bat those long thick eyelashes, and smile wide as you say out loud,
“This is world change I Am a part of”.
Simply by being here, as a single drop of water, and continuing to stand and be seen, you are a small but necessary part of creating a better world for generations to come. Many drops of water make the ocean!
I look forward to the day when one of us takes a seat on Parliament Hill here in Canada and the day will come when one of us enters the Oval Office there in the USA; it’s only matter of time.
Take up your place and hold your head high; You are an amazing part of something much greater that you may think; wear your badge of honor with Pride and walk on…
Thank you for being exactly who you are!