How can we come together when our communities are so divided?
(This is a guest post by the Library Lady’s friend, Duck.)
Duck and his friends were eating apples one day. The apples were red and shiny and tasted delicious, except for Duck’s apple.
It was bad. It made duck sad to get the bad apple, he threw it away.
Duck decided to go for a walk and visit his neighbors. They had lived by Duck for as long as he could remember, and they’d always been friends. As they talked, they told Duck that sometimes policemen were mean to them and didn’t treat them like everybody else. That made them afraid.
Duck was confused, why would anyone be mean to his friends? And especially a policeman? Duck loved policemen. He thought they were heroes. Why would the people who take care of us be mean?
“There are some bad apples in the bunch,” said his friend.
Duck thought about his bad apple that morning. Maybe it was the same with the police, mostly good shiny apples but an occasional bad one?
Duck wished all the good apples would get together and throw out the bad ones so everyone could be friends. “Can’t we all just get along?” He didn’t know how to make that happen but somebody else did.
Duck’s friends invited some policemen over to dinner. They were happy to accept. When the day came, they all sat down together, ate good food and talked about important things. Everyone listened. They got to know each other and felt a lot better. Duck thinks getting together to talk when things go wrong is a great way to solve problems, and that maybe people should do it more often.
Library Lady’s Note – I was proud of my friends for reaching out and trying to communicate in a calm and positive manner. And while one dinner is not going to solve all the racial problems besetting us it’s certainly a good place to start.
My friend Ludy and I have been walking buddies for years. She’s an amazing person who is raising excellent young men. In the midst of the rioting in Salt Lake City one of her sons went down to the police station. He rounded up some policemen and asked, “Have any of you ever been to dinner in a black household? My Mom’s a good cook and I’d like to invite you to our house.” So the policemen came, and they all talked about serious issues like the systematic problems in the police force which turn good apples into bad ones.
Clearly things need to change but killing and rioting is not the way to do it. Sitting down together in a friendly relaxed setting is so much better. I know there are good people on both sides of this equation and given the chance, they’re the ones who can fix this problem.