Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fun Fall Activities

This week, my mom and I went to Greenbluff, an area with lots of farms nearby, twice. The first time, we got pumpkins and squashes of many beautiful varieties. The second time, we went to pick fall raspberries. Here are some pictures from our fall adventures!

Mom got to do her favorite thing: pick berries. Look how happy she is!
We picked many berries to use in our cereal for months to come .
We saw a pumpkin shot out of this crazy cannon!
Ohh, I hope it wasn't really mom in there after all!
We went through mom's first hay maze (yes, fun for adults too, and no, I didn't let her cheat).
Too much fun!
At this farm the goats have a cool habitat.
One of mom's other favorite things in life: alpacas. They are pretty cute!
And on our way home, these turkeys were in the road. I think we saw at least 12. Thanksgiving, anyone?
We welcome visitors! Anyone tempted?? :-).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Unconscious Segregation

I am on the MARTA in Atlanta. I have a suitcase and a backpack, and when I got on, the train was mostly full and there were people standing. I walked past them and sat in an empty seat on the isle, next to a well dressed white guy about my age. He looked safe, and in my mind I was leaving the two empty seats in front of us open for someone else instead of taking both with myself and my stuff. As the train departed, no one sat there.

At the next stop, the guy next to me got up and left the train. A good-looking black guy looked at me and I wondered what he was thinking. Suddenly I noticed that there were no other white people in my line of sight. I turned around and there were no other white people on the train at all, except one man sitting on the other side of the isle from me.

I sat next to the only two white people on the train. I hadn't even realized it.

Then I started wondering: did I make that decision subconsciously, or was it a legitimate coincidence? I certainly didn't mean to sit next to the only white people. If I had realized it, I would have chosen NOT to sit next to the only white people. I couldn't even believe it.

Some of my very favorite, closest friends are African or of African descent, and I know what my decision looked like, what it said to the others on the train. I confirmed a stereotype in a small, subtle way... that white people are afraid of or do not like black people.

Whether or not this stereotype is often true is not the point. There is plenty of evidence to suggest it. Hanging out with close African American friends when I lived in Atlanta years ago I learned this first-hand. I want to be someone who is intentional about changing the stereotype, and here I am confirming it in my own little way. I am neither the first nor the only one to notice my choice of seat.

Although I didn't make my seating choice intentionally, I'm sorry I made the choice I did at all. If given the same opportunity again, I plan to choose a different seat. And I pray that the next white person who gets on a train with the same passengers will make a different choice as well.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Praise God that since Martin Luther King, Jr. said those words transition has continued to occur. But it is not done yet. Lord let me be a continuing part of the solution, not a perpetrator of the problem -- even through ignorance or being oblivious.