I have a closet full of blankets. We call it Levi’s Closet because the wallpaper that surrounds the folded colors is covered in prints of navy blue denim pockets with little orange tags. The room is quite large for a closet, maybe five by ten, not sure, but it is filled with hunter green sleeping bags, eyelet curtains, flannel sheets, and blankets of all colors. The open door will lead your eyes to bright hues like turquoise and pink and will give your lookers rest with muted tones. Either way, the blankets are for warmth, given out of love, or created with peaceful thoughts while yarn is turned into squares, but each one is distinct with their own story.
Another type of blanket is one that you cannot see. We have all used them in our lives, maybe to the detriment of our souls and pride, but we have. For example, people think that all roosters are jerks who will stab you with their spiky spurs or bite you with their sharp beaks. I have blanketed roosters before, but I was wrong. One of my roosters bites, and the other will let you hold him. Another blanket is one that is tossed over military wives. The term, I believe, is “dependa.” All military wives are under a blanket of assumed let-me-talk-to-the-manager behavior with entitled demands and hands with fingernails for days on her hips. I was never an entitled manager-conversationalist, so I don’t fit under that staticky fabric. “Oh no, not you. You’re different.”
Lately, while I sit safely in my white house hiding behind my stark white skin and zipped lips, I’ve been seeing many blankets all over the internet, and not the warm cozy kind that wrap around your shoulders on a snowless January morning, but ones woven with assumptions and fed with social media education. For example, people are being killed in rioting and businesses are being ruined, and I am seeing people who are blanketing all of the Black Lives Matter movement with those crimes. The urge is to find the negative memes and photos and connect them to the cause. I’ve always been passive and peaceful, and I have seen many protests that are the same. Just because one is violent, doesn’t mean that the cause is violent. Each protest should be scrutinized and talked about differently.
There is also a blanket of whose lives matter. If we say that someone’s life matters, are we saying that all the others don’t? No. If I say, “I love you” does that mean I don’t love anyone else? No. If I say, “It’s hot in Florida” does that mean it’s the only hot place? No. People are not saying only black lives matter, but are saying plainly that black lives matter. Is this debatable? For real? Not in my world. The simplicity of the words is being twisted and strangled to fit agendas. It is a reminder that those who are in peril matter.
I know my husband didn’t die fighting for his country so we will all have to sit back and allow the gross injustice we witness, have witnessed, and unfortunately, will continue to witness. He died so we could have opinions, so we could question, and so we could support. Roger was the kindest person I ever met, and he loved everyone. Together we taught our sons about racism through conversation and modeling, and I continue to speak with them about it. Where I was wrong was in stopping. It is an ongoing conversation that evolves with the world.
I don’t understand how we don’t see a need for reform in this country and world. I also don’t understand how one can say that there is no need for frustration and desperation. Most confusing to me is how is this political? It is a fact. Black people are not treated the same way that white people are. It is about humanity, peace, and plain old treating people with kindness and respect. You should believe that no matter what your affiliation is. How is this arguable? How is this still acceptable? I repeat . . . How. Is. Treating. People. With. Kindness. Arguable? Nike.
I have grown in the last decade and use my brain to see differently than I ever have before. I support my friends in law enforcement, my friends in the military, and my friends who protest the injustice that has been violently dished out to people of color in our country and world. I especially support peace and a forward movement that comes with change and respect. Each person should be individualized with closed eyes, and blankets should be kept on our laps with a sleeping cat or shared with someone we love.