I am a Black woman who is the mother of two young adult Black men. My husband is Black. In addition to teaching our boys to be contributing members of society, we had “the Talk” with them when they reached adolescence. “Be careful how you carry yourself outside of the house.” “If you get stopped by the police, no matter what they say or do, be respectful. Keep your hands in sight. Ask permission to open your glove box and let them know you are retrieving your insurance papers.” Etc., etc., etc. But most importantly, do not become aggressive in any way, shape or form. Do not raise your voice. Be courteous at all times. This “Talk” is not unique to me. Black mothers and fathers throughout the United States have a similar conversation with their children every single day. And this conversation isn’t a one-off. It is repeated over and over until we are sure that these concepts have taken root in our children’s minds: You are not safe when stopped by the police because of the color of your skin. Your skin color generates fear. It’s not fair, but life isn’t fair and many times justice is “just us”.
Over the years, I have watched in increasing horror the murders of Black men. I have watched their murders walk away scott free from their crimes, knowing that if the shoe had been on the other foot, a black man would be in some state’s gas chamber – if he made it that far alive. We as a nation have made no progress. In fact, we have gone backwards. These murderers are nothing but modern day lynchings, and the death of George Floyd is the epitome of this.
Good people across our country have decided, finally, enough is enough and have come out en masse to protest. There are many forces attempting to quell and suppress these voices of our young people: alt-right agitators who, under the guise of left wing groups, provoke looting and rioting. Far left groups promoting violence. A government who could care less about its people and only about power. Yet, these good people come out, peacefully, day after day to voice their disgust of police brutality and the murdering – rather genocide – of people of color and demand better from government. These good people understand the true meaning of “Black Lives Matter.” And they are taking action.
I believe in everything these good people are marching for. My only regret is that I cannot physically join them. I am a prime target for catching Covid-19 and too much depends on me staying healthy. I have thought long and hard about how I can help. Last night, while watching the news it came to me. I watched a peaceful protest in Dallas, near where I live. Dallas had a curfew that started at 7 pm yesterday evening for certain sectors of town, including downtown Dallas. The protestors were careful not to cross into the areas that were under curfew, but instead marched from the County Criminal Courts and Lew Sterrett Jail Center, skirting the area under curfew and then over the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge that crosses the Trinity River. There was no violence. There was no looting. The police descended, however and arrested all of them. I saw pictures of these young adults, hands behind their backs, handcuffed with zip ties like cattle, to be hauled off to jail. Hundreds of them.
And I became enraged.
I started running numbers in my head. I started thinking about all the bail money that would be generated for the city with these arrests – of peaceful people performing a right guaranteed by the Constitution. I also knew that many of these kids wouldn’t have the money to make bail or if released on their own recognizance, pay the fines imposed. That’s where I figured something could be done here. With your help, maybe we can do something.
I am going to run a Mystery Bag promotion. It will not be a sale and shipping will be via First Class Mail only and will be on me. Use coupon code MYSTERY for free first class shipping. Each bag will be priced at either $24 or $26. The bag price represents the retail value of the yarn inside. The $24 bags will contain my Hen yarn, a DK base. My $26 bags will contain a skein of either Foghorn or Leghorn, my fingering weight yarn. The bags will get packed up and sealed and what ships to you will be a mystery to both of us, other than the yarn weight.
$10 of each sale will go to the following charities in the following percentages:
50% of the donation will go to ActBlue where the donation will be split among 40 community bail funds. You can find out more about their work and donate here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bail_funds_george_floyd?refcode=cwg
50% of the donation will go to the Luke 4:18 Bail Fund. This particular bail fund is a local fund that provides assistance in Dallas and surrounding counties. You can find out more about their work and make your own donation here: https://faithintx.org/bailfund/