On our walk this morning, I was thinking that there’s something really screwed up about the fact that there are people alive in this city who know who bombed Looby’s house. They have never come forward. We are more likely to live in a city that has forgotten who Looby is and what he did for us than we are to live in a city that knows who tried to kill him.
To my way of thinking, this is a good measure of whether we have racial justice in this city. Are we still choosing to protect the white people who tried to kill black Nashvillians? I’m not even talking about prosecuting anyone. I’m just talking about being wholly honest about what happened.
Every day, we choose this. People know. They choose not to say.
I think the thing is that a lot of white people have a lot invested in believing that it can be too late for justice (which I agree with, in some ways), so, if we can just run out the clock, then the people we’ve done wrong will just have to suck it up.
It’s an amazingly unfair thing all around–to prefer leaving injustice in place to having to accept responsibility, to leaving our children this legacy of bullshit that they will either have to deal with or become the same kind of people we are, to expecting our victims to just suffer and get over it. We screw everyone over with our cowardice.
Which is not to say that I’m not a coward, too. I can’t imagine what it would be like to look at a picture of white people beating and spitting on black college kids and seeing my parents or grandparents with clenched fists. I don’t know if I’d come forward and say “I know who that is.”