Tag Archives: racism

Cri de Coeur


When you are a minority in this country, be it a woman, or of a different race, gender identification, or a non-prevalent religion, you are already a second class citizen. You are simply tolerated and you are either outright told you are not wanted at times or its whispered in your ear at the most unexpected (or expected) moments in your life.

You often will just nod to yourself inside and say, Yeah, that’s right, I almost forgot I wasn’t different from you. How silly of me to have forgotten. Thank you for reminding me I don’t really belong.

A woman or man may become shamed, fearful, angry. Cry tears of sadness, frustration and/or indignation. They make drink, smoke, shoot up, live life to the excess all to assuage their disgust, their inadequacies, or the perpetual fight they think they may not be able to overcome for something they simply were born into. Nothing more. A chromosome here, a chromosome there, all amounting to being defined, boxed and put in your place. Categorized.

Becoming a category, a subject matter, a thing, provides disconnection for the majority. So when the times comes to fight the status quo it is simply met with indifference, ridicule, generalities, skepticism, and even outright suspicion.

What does the majority think we fight for? Why does a woman call out a man in power when he threatens her with her career if she won’t sleep with him? Why does a black man kneel when the anthem plays because he simply wants to make sure that flag really seems HIM in equal measure when it waves in the wind. Why does a man marrying another man, or woman marrying another woman rankle the majority so, when love is love is love?

Majority is the key.

Remember, Majority is the key.

Stop thinking of yourself as not the majority. Don’t acquiesce. Don’t bow your head.

Being a minority is only a state of mind you put yourself in.

So simply cry out from the heart. And say enough.

Philip Wardlow 2017

Keshia Thomas reflects on saving man from beating outside KKK rally


Keisha

 

Below Article written by

By Ryan Stanton | ryanstanton@mlive.com The Ann Arbor News
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on October 31, 2013 at 5:35 AM, updated October 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM

http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2013/10/former_ann_arborite_reflects_o.html

 

Keshia Thomas is now in her 30s and living in Texas, but she’s still remembered for an act of courage and kindness at the age of 18 when she saved a man in a Confederate shirt from being beaten outside a Ku Klux Klan rally in Ann Arbor.

The Ann Arbor News caught up with Thomas by phone on Wednesday as accounts of her inspiring story from the 1996 incident were once again making their way around the web following a feature story in BBC News Magazine.

“Personally, the one thing I take away from it is that you never know what change can happen in just a moment,” she said of how things unfolded that day. “Whether you do the right thing or the wrong thing, change happens in just a moment.”

Thomas was with an anti-KKK group protesting the rally the white supremacist organization was holding outside Ann Arbor’s city hall on June 22, 1996. At one point, a woman with a megaphone shouted, “There’s a Klansman in the crowd!”

Thomas, who was still in high school, turned and saw Albert McKeel Jr., clad in a Confederate shirt with a Nazi tattoo on his arm. It wasn’t long before mob mentality took over and the crowd had McKeel on the ground.

Thomas, horrified to see the man being kicked and beaten, threw herself on top of McKeel to shield him from the blows.

Thomas said she hasn’t had any contact with McKeel since that day, but she did meet one of his family members some months after the incident. She said a younger man came up to her in a coffee shop and thanked her.

“For what?” she asked. “That was dad,” the man replied.

Learning that the man had a son, Thomas said, gave her a greater perspective on everything.

“Imagine what would have happened if they had killed his father out there,” she said. “That would have just been another person filled with anger, hate and revenge.”

Attempts to reach McKeel were unsuccessful.

Thomas, who was born in Detroit and raised in Ann Arbor, said she moved out of the area back in 2002 and lived in southern California for a while before moving to Houston about a year ago, where she now works at a restaurant.

She said she still has family in the Ann Arbor area and plans to move back to Michigan before long so she can be part of the revitalization of Detroit.

“Detroit is getting a lot of negative attention with the bankruptcy and everything that’s going on, but I’m really proud of what people are doing there,” she told the Ann Arbor News on Wednesday. “We have to continue to go forward.”

Thomas said she’s concerned about the violence that plagues the city, where the homicide rate is the highest it’s been in 20 years and shootings occur daily. FBI crime statistics show Detroit witnessed 386 homicides in 2012.

“You can’t change an environment like Detroit until you change people’s thought process,” Thomas said. “If you can change somebody’s mind, thoughts and ideas, then their actions change, and that’s the most important thing.”

Thomas said she’s still trying to make a difference in the world and still trying to break down racial stereotypes through small acts of kindness.

She said disaster relief work has been a passion of hers over the years, whether that’s meant going to Ground Zero after the twin towers fell or helping those in need following Hurricane Katrina and wildfires in California.

 

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Word from me:

To add to this story, McKeel’s son found her later in his life and thanked her for stepping in  to protect his father that day.  I think that right there shows a lot about the effect she had. The son didn’t have to come to seek her out, but he did, the son of a clansman  sought to seek her out to thank her .

Imagine that….. 🙂

 

#unsung