Monday, July 13, 2009

Quick Hit Back— Lord Jesus, my people, my people…

Grandma Effie Mae Scott and Granddad Burnell Scott

How horrific! Burr Oaks Cemetery once owned by Ebony and Jet Magazine publisher John Johnson, was the only place Black folk could be buried. I too have many relatives buried at Burr Oaks Cemetery including my grandma Effie Mae Scott who passed last Christmas. It was something that continued to run through my head as the story hit the national news.

You are right Sabrina, this behavior is definitely connected to the escalating violence perpetuated in the Black community by Black folks. In parts of our community people now live in a climate where self-hatred and the pursuit of the all mighty dollar trumps everything. This is the only thing that could explain how Carolyn Towns, a Burr Oak manager and her cronies could do what they did and still be able to look at themselves in the mirror. Was desecrating the graves of the dead worth the chump change made by these folks?

What do I say to my family, particularly my mother who is still grieving the passing of her mother? What could I possibly say to my parents when they called last week from Burr Oaks’ bracing themselves for what they might find? What about Granddad Burnell Scott (Grandma Effie’s husband), a World War II veteran who died when my mother was eight? Was his plot disturbed? What about Grandma Effie’s parents, James and Annie Long? Would my parents find their remains discarded for money? What words of comforts could I even say to her in the midst of this tragedy?

Thank God my parents were able to determine that our loved ones were not affected by this travesty but they took no comfort. The sheer number of people, police and general sadness and rage impacted them. While they knew that our folks for the most part were ok (still waiting for more information on Granddad Scott’s folks) there were many people that walked away with the pain of know that they’re loved ones were impacted.

Yes we need to talk about the regulatory agencies that should have made sure that nothing like this could have happened. Yes Carolyn Towns and the others who did this should but placed under the jail and never allowed see daylight again. But I am still struck by a culture that normalizes the devaluation of Black life. I am troubled by the fact that I have become numb to it all including the pain and rage.

I am worried about losing my humanity…

No comments:

Post a Comment