In the middle of heartache and rage, Billy Flood found unexpected hope and enthusiasm in the form of a blond-haired fellow protester.
This writing is brought to you via the 5th Dimension:
I got fury in my soul
Fury’s gonna take me
To the glory goal
In my mind I can’t
Study war no more
Save the people
Save the children
Save the country
Save the country
… We can build a dream with love I know, we can build a dream with love.
It sounds foolish I know, but I feel like after the horror of the refusal of the grand jury in Ferguson to indict a killer, my enthusiasm is well deserved. I wept last night with friends over social media and over the phone over the findings of the grand jury. I was devastated, had NO hope, and wanted to join the small group of looters in Ferguson and burn it all down-this system that allows public street executions.
Tonight I am renewed. After standing side by side with about 600 brothers and sisters of ALL stripes, I have hope again. Black, White, Hispanic, Native American, old, in strollers, middle age, teen, young adult and me, (34) were all marching in peaceful solidarity with Ferguson. Shouts of, “No Justice, No Peace” and “Hey Hey, Ho, Ho, these racist cops have got to go!” rang out through the streets of downtown Louisville. It brought my heart joy to see so many folk shout with me, “Black Lives Matter!” We are not alone in this fight. We have allies. I met them tonight.
Walking back to my car from the protest, a fellow protestor, a young blonde white guy, maybe 21, stopped me and asked me how long I had been protesting. After a brief exchange, he said, “well I’m not usually the protesting type, but I had to do something. It’s so wrong. It’s all about love.” I was touched by his pure earnestness and utter lack of sarcasm. It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone exhibit that. He offered me a ride back to my car, but I was so moved, I declined. I needed to take the long walk back to my car to get myself together. We exchanged names, (which I have now totally forgot) , I thanked him, and hurried off. As I got to the corner and turned down the street, the overwhelming feeling of goodness came over me. The words I heard were:
This will be ok. You don’t know how, but it will.
The words of the blonde stranger stuck with me- love. That summed it up for me. 5th Dimension is correct, we CAN build a dream with love. We will find Justice. The murder of Michael Brown, has brought new life to social justice in Louisville, and united us in racial unity.
We can build a dream with love.
Yes we can!
Originally appeared on Billy Flood’s blog
All photos of the Louisville protest courtesy of the author