Our class went first to the ships where we boarded the Susan Constant. We went bellow deck and while there thought about living in these quarters with many other people for approximately 3 months was it? without showers, with little food, with chamber pots for toilets... and most of us agreed we must be very desperate indeed to consider such a journey.
And yet I thought to myself, people stow away every day to reach the shores of this great nation believing it to be a better place than the country they were born in.
That day I held hands with a 9 or 10 year old young man. He gets in trouble a lot at school and I see in him my son. They are both smart, easily distracted, impulsive with difficulty keeping their hands to themselves. At some point I had my hand around his shoulder to help him stand still and he realized the sweater I was wearing was soft, and he snuggled in. For the next hour we were buddies.
Later in the evening the news reported that the Grand Jury would not indict the officer in Ferguson. And riots started. And the news reported that the National Guard was called into other cities around the nation as well.
I thought about that young man I'd held hands with earlier in the day, who is a black boy. And how will people look at him in eight years when he is 18 and tall and still struggling to grow up. How will he look at me?
And I thought about those people who stow away believing that this country offers them a chance that they will not be offered in the country they were born into.
And I thought about all those people who were born here in this country and who feel that it does not offer them the same opportunities that it offers me. This isn't about glass ceilings. This is about safety. This is about mother's who fear for their sons and daughters. If not here where? If not here in the land of promise where does a mother go to raise her son in safety?
A man named Tony wrote this: