Posted by: suek2001 | July 8, 2016

“If They’re saying who ain’t free/then they’re saying it right to me..”

Tomorrow is my uncle’s birthday…We’ve been out of touch since my Aunt passed away but I think of him often…as the love he had for her was quite special….

Micheal Scott is a good man…works hard…has done a variety of jobs…horse trainer..construction..and building caretaker…When my Aunt met him, he was 26..she was 52…that wasn’t the only thing that startled the rest of the family.

He is black…and our family is white…very white…suburban white….They say that the youth are more accepting of changing times…and maybe that’s true..I couldn’t understand why it was so shocking to my Grandmother and my Mom..

I was shocked..not at his race…but at the fact that my Aunt even had a boyfriend…and was thinking of marrying him.

The vision of them together seemed like a foreign dream..Betsy was, to me and on some level, will always be..my travel buddy..the woman I spent hours on the road with each summer as a kid…to think of her in any other role was strange…and took me years to get used to…

Maybe some resentment came through from me but overall I learned to adjust…..Micheal was nice enough to me…that he treated me with respect….

Two moments come to mind…..the night my best friend died..He picked me up from my college house…and said only one thing to me…”Tomorrow, I have a construction job…if you want to come and watch me work..hang out and see the tools..feel free. It will get you away from everything for awhile”. I turned him down but I appreciated the offer…sometimes when horrible moments happen, your brain needs a distraction…

( I wound up going to the Mall of America and watched kids play)…

The second thing I recall of my Uncle Micheal is the weekend of my Aunt Betsy’s funeral…

It was May of 2008…we had just had her service..and watched the Kentucky Derby…the family made plans to see a movie….Iron Man….and although I was tempted to turn down the offer, I went anyway….and God, did I love it…

Micheal and I sat in the back row of that theater..laughed and cheered…we both needed it…the next day, my friend from Duluth was supposed to come down and pick me up to go back to Duluth…Micheal called him to tell him not to bother…Micheal needed an escape…and drove me back to Duluth….in my Aunt’s car….I cannot recall what we talked about but it was a nice moment with him..

We’ve gone on long drives since then..talking everything from travel to politics….his politics lean right…a bit more right than mine….so I am not sure where he stands on the current situation….but I thought of him anyway…as Minnesota reels from the death of a well-loved guy..who worked hard..had a fiance…and a daughter….Philando  Castile….could be my uncle…could be someone I work with…could be someone I know from church….a law-abiding citizen with no previous record…and a permit for a gun….and a busted taillight gets him killed?

I am a white woman..and a non-driver…so I never have to worry about being pulled over for something innocuous and then facing death or just harassment from someone with the power to imprison me…

I am sad by these events…..I am scared as well…not all these people that die needlessly are criminals….and not all criminals deserve to die….the trend of police being judge, jury and executioner is one that needs to stop…training needs to be better…but more than that…the police need to be a part of the community…not above it…they protect AND serve….The nature of the police has changed, as more departments take on a militaristic feel to how they connect to the city…and that affects the trust, it’s citizens have for these people in power…

I fear for my uncle’s safety….I fear that if he hesitates..or looks the wrong way…or says one less than perfect thing….he too could feel a bullet….and that’s too high a price to pay….

I don’t believe all cops are bad……but too many times, we’ve seen this…and there must be something we can do to end this….

 

I’ll close my blog with a family portrait…taken the weekend my Aunt and Uncle got married…It was a weekend that forever changed our family…for the better..

..from left to right…Betsy, My Mom…My Uncle Micheal…and my Grandma…

 

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