I participated in a very peaceful protest today in downtown Dover. I learned a lot. I wanted to highlight a few things (okay, 10 things):
1. Multiple times, whoever had the megaphone pointed out that we are to be a PEACEFUL protest. Once, a few people started banging on the windows of the Justice of the Peace Court, because allegedly some police officers inside were laughing at us (to be fair I didn’t see it), and someone in the group said “hey, we don’t need to be like that” and they stopped.
2. Some white guy in his truck was really salty that we were blocking his way and yelled that he had to get to work, even though Dover PD was doing a great job following us and re-routing traffic (shout out to them). I get it, but it occurred to me that him being 5 minutes late to work was nothing compared to what we were protesting, but he didn’t seem to care. However, another white guy right next to him got out of his car and stood with us, spontaneously, even though we blocked him, and it choked me up. Speaking of…
3. The tears. You guys, there are real emotions involved in this. Anger is a secondary emotion. It covers over hurt. I saw a lot of hurt today, streaming down black people’s faces as they expressed their feelings. I heard personal stories of injustice. I heard about the world they want for their kids, about how they wanted to come back to them every day, alive. I got choked up, because there was real emotion and passion behind their words, and you don’t get that from reading a Facebook post. The least we can do is listen.
4. As a white person, I will never fully understand how they feel. But the least I can do is stand with them and try to understand. The unity of black and white coming together for a common mission felt amazing. Once, two cops (1 black 1 white) from the Family Court knelt with us. I got choked up watching them hug the black men in the group. I hope the whole world can be that way soon.
5. Protesting is good, but we need to vote where it counts. After returning from a march, we ran into a group praying on the Green. There was a pastor there and he offered to pray for us and then urged us to go home and get registered to vote otherwise protesting means nothing.
6. The amount of honks we got from cars as we marched down Loockerman was way more than I expected. I think this is bigger than we think. I think even if we feel like a small amount of people want change, that’s not true. There are enough who have had enough.
7. I am very proud of Dover. Looters/rioters and peaceful protesters are two very different groups of people here. But these people got off their couch, braved corona, and went after it. Whichever way you are fighting this, even if you can’t go out, whether it’s donating, sharing educational resources, contacting lawmakers, get after it. The world needs to change.
8. As I marched with several current and past students at Polytech who I am very proud of as well, I realized they are who I’m doing this for. I want a better world for my black students. For all my students. You can’t be a teacher and not want that. There were so many young people there. There were kids there. They want it too. I believe good things are coming. A new generation.
9. God is moving. With Him all things are possible. He is a just God, and He is a merciful God, and He is a God of unity. So, like him, let’s seek justice, let’s seek mercy, and let’s seek unity with God and each other. Love changes everything.
10. I have a lot more to learn.