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Those Who Forget History are Surprised When It Repeats — 13 Comments

  1. This was beautifully written & very compelling. I am a white 20-somethings gal & have only in the last 5-6 years begun to explore what race means in America today. I grew up surrounded by people (mostly white people) who genuinely thought race doesn’t matter anymore, that people are always treated equally today. Slowly in my young adult life, I began to see that isn’t true. I was in a unique academic setting for a few months where people from different races discussed the implications of being white or black or latino in today’s world, specifically in Chicago. Then, I taught at a predominately black high school on the south side of Chicago and it was just another part of a slow eye-opening journey to the reality of as you put it, being a little black boy in America today. The way you worded the experience of having to teach him what that means almost brings me to tears. As you commented above – preparing them to live in the world that exists. Lord help us to make progress in this generation!

  2. Christine, I think you got the exact technical name fo the situation, it sucks. It is hard discussing these things with my children, but they need to be prepared to live in the world. I want them to have the coping skills they need to make it and to succeed. I cannot prepare them for a dream world. I can only prepare them to live in the world that exists.

  3. Like so many others, I was more crushed than outraged. More disappointed than surprised. This was a really great post Janeane so thank you for sharing and being so transparent. While I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood, I never experienced hate to that extent. So while I know that history repeats itself, I just can’t grasp the fact of explaining to my little black boy all that you have explained to yours. Two words: it sucks.

  4. I wasn’t surprised by the verdict either. Something must be done. Yelling about it and not doing anything about doesn’t help anyone. Thank you for sharing your point of view with us.

  5. Very thoughtful piece… thank you. I was not surprised by the verdict either, yet still affected at the injustice of the justice. I love your mantra that little black boys are precious. Indeed they are.

  6. Thank you for sharing this. As you said, given this country’s history, I am outraged, but not surprised. I pray that change comes one day.

  7. Also I am so shocked reading about your horrible experiences growing up. You are an amazing person and I hope when your and my children grow up this will be a much better world

  8. Thank you so much for your post. I am still processing the verdict. It came as a shock to me and a precious young man died so needlessly. It is a shock that in 2013 when we have a black president that something like this could still happen. I keep thinking of MLK’s words – I pray for a day when a man will not be judged by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. We are still so far away from that. Janeane, I am not surprised reading what you wrote about the court clerk’s assumption. Also, just a few days ago I was at a baby’s clothing store in the mall, and the stupid attendant asked me if I needed help multiple times and followed me around the store. I was so furious that I stomped out the store. 2013 – like you said history repeats itself. Also certain assumptions never change.

  9. Oh Janeane, This is a post that I will save and I will share with my children. It is a post I will read over and over and over again. To say thank you to you seems completely ridiculous–I can only say I am glad I read this. I am not so glad that you know your way around and I pray for a day all children are valued–all of them. It is my deepest wish.

  10. While I feel empathy for Trayvon Martin’s mother, I am just not surprised by this verdict and I see attacks on little black boys all the time. This is not new for me. I want a solution that goes beyond this one incident and protects all our little boys so they can become men.

  11. Thank you. I do not plan on speaking of this, but acting proactively. I just do not know what that is yet. Thank for for acting proactively too. 🙂

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