Where is the love?

Contributed by Jodi Paige

I was born in 1967, the year of “The Summer of Love.”  That same era, there was great racial strife.  Yet, it seems that there was a desire among many Americans grow past racial prejudices.  Even the Beatles called across the water, “All You Need Is Love.”

I grew up the child of an interracial marriage.  My parents were both in the Marine Corps.  When I was youngster in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the children of the military were well-integrated.  So, when I first heard of the concept of “bigotry,” I was truly baffled.  It seemed so illogical that one person could not like another because of their color, nationality, or even religion.  But I knew, just by looking around at the variety of my peers, that my generation would be the first to put this strange notion of bigotry to rest.  Sadly, I eventually saw how small my world really was as I got older.  And this morning, my heart is grieved for a lady named Shirley Sherrod.

As you may know, Shirley Sherrod was the USDA official who was the guest speaker at an NAACP event who told of not wanting to help a white farmer in need.  Only a portion of her anecdotal tale was featured on video websites, conservative blogs, and even FOX News.  Within just a few days of the video getting mainstream exposure, Ms. Sherrod was condemned on all sides:  Conservatives, the White House, and the NAACP itself.  Under the weight of such condemnation, Ms. Sherrod resigned.  Justice seemed to have prevailed.  But, wait…there’s more tape?

This morning as I groggily woke up and turned my TV on, Good Morning America featured the rest of the speech.  It turns out, that despite her father having been murdered by a Klansman, Ms. Sherrod was telling a parable of how she was able to grow past her hurt and anger against white folks and eventually cultivate a desire to help people of all races.  That’s the spirit under which my generation was raised, and a message that all American people need to hear and embrace.

Despite the race-baiting, quick-draw infotainment disguised as “news,” and old-school attitudes, I still have hope that, some day soon, the citizens of this country will just see one another as fellow Americans.  Like the Youngbloods once sang, “Come on people now, smile on your brother, try to love one another right now!”

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One Comment to “Where is the love?”

  1. Jodi – You are so right. I refuse to treat those who believe differently than I do as my enemies. Instead, they are each potential converts. Kindness toward all. Animosity toward none. Judgement is for God.

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