Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rhode Island

I am in Rhode Island. It is a great place, and kind of like Bellingham in some ways. Lyra and Andrew (in the pictures) showed me around town a little bit, to this place that looks a lot like Boulevard Park (and if you haven't been to Bellingham, you should go and visit Boulevard Park)
there was a great statue holding a frisbee, by coincidence....
the wind was blowing really hard, so I climbed up a flagpole to flap a little. Then we went to this play, about the slave trade in Providence RI. A lot I didn't know. Did you know that 1000 slave voyages were made from and to Rhode Island, and Providence was a major slave trade port?
I did not. And as I head further south, and we as a nation head towards looking for the content of our leader's character (as opposed to the color of their skin), race relations are coming at me from all over.
I feel guilty sometimes. Guilt, like a poison from priests seeking control over their congregation, like a mandate from the powerful to the not. But I am guilty for being white, where whites have punished and enslaved. In Kingcome, I could feel the bite of my skin on my consciousness. I could imagine the pent up hatred brewed from generations and years of inequality, painted boldly across my face, but I could do nothing. Now here, too, the guilt comes. Is this why history is so painful?
DC will be tough, I am sure, for though the white rule prevails there, it is the powerful that make me feel ashamed the most.
And further south, I cannot guess what I will find or feel.


Jon said...

If you go through Birmingham or Memphis on your journey south and are inclined to explore your social conscience, I recommend the civil rights museums in those two cities. They are thought-provoking to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Why would you feel guilty about your race. Were you there when all the slave trade took place? Are you ashamed of the Christians (assuming you are one ) for waging war on the Ottoman empire? This white guilt thing plays right into the hands of those that wish to take control from our ordered society to a Socialistic, give to the poor, lazy, worthless bastard factory, do nothings. Give me a break!

Anne said...

I'm from D.C. and can honestly say D.C. is pretty even when it comes to race relations. This is that girl from the front desk of that Montanan hotel! I'm glad your making it in that sweet ride of yours. Have fun in D.C.!