From time to time a deeply disturbing public act of violence occurs that impacts whole communities, at times the entire country. Then we have a lot of people experiencing varying levels of grief and pain together in a strangely pervasive way. It was like that when 9/11 happened and when JFK was assassinated. The shooting of Trayvon Martin has had that kind of impact. In our local community, the difficulty of coping with the tragedy in Florida has been compounded by the recent local murder of a young Black man in what appears to be, to some extent, a racially motivated act of violence.
To respond to these events, my friend Dianne organized a demonstration that she called the All Humanity March, which took place yesterday. It was billed as a way for us to show solidarity with one another as caring human beings who embrace our diversity. As the event unfolded, it became quite clear that it was, more than anything, an opportunity for collective healing. Dianne’s opening words to begin the event were so eloquent that I asked her if I could post them on my blog. Dianne is a poet. She says she wrote her words in the form of a poem to make them easier for her to read. I am printing them here exactly as she sent them to me.
Opening Remarks for the March 31st All Humanity March
by Dianne Durham
We have been utterly shaken by the news of the murders of Jamal Andrews in Redwood Valley and Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.
I believe I can say today that we’re all here because we know
that we need to see beyond race, that we need to see beyond economic class,
beyond gender identity,
beyond sexual orientation,
beyond religious beliefs.
We’re here today because we need to see truth as being so much bigger
than the old, bold, distracting, destructive lie.
We’re here because oftentimes
the lie is so much easier to believe than the truth.
And what is the lie?
The lie is that we’re so different from one another,
and that different is always suspect.
We’re here because we need help remembering the truth – our truth:
WE ARE BEAUTIFULLY DIVERSE,
INTRICATELY CONNECTED BEINGS
OF THE HUMAN SPECIES, CONNECTED TO THE EARTH & TO ALL SPECIES
OUR CONNECTION IS PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, & SPIRITUAL.
We are here today to remember, to nurture, and to protect our connection.
and to protect
Today we honor the lives of Jamal Andrews and Trayvon Martin,
and as we send our love to the families of these two young men
who were ruthlessly murdered,
we honor the life of every person throughout history
who has been bullied or taunted, hated, hunted or killed for being uniquely human!
As we remember, nurture, and protect our truth
Let us march today with a renewed sense of strength and unity.
To find out more about Dianne’s activities go to her organization’s website by clicking here.
For photos of the All Humanity March visit the Ukiah Aware Facebook Page by clicking here.
Here is a photo of Dianne (on the right) holding the microphone for Lillian Vogel (seated) to speak at the March. Lil is 102 and still as brilliant as ever (totally there mentally). In the background you can see my lovely husband Ron on the far left.
Photo by Trudy Morgan