Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, May 24, 2013

3-21-13 RMB Concentrate on Being Human
Dear Rita May Brown,
Your words from A Plain Brown Rapper…”I wish I could say something encouraging…I wish I could say we’d forget black and white, male and female and concentrate on being human … I wish I could say two Fridays ago I didn’t receive a phone call …. ‘You’re Rita Mae Brown, aren’t you?’……… ‘I’ve put a bomb under your stairway.’ Click. I wish I could say that it didn’t hurt.”
Some of his words, canned phrases born of hatred, those I will not repeat here. This paragraph, that started with your vision, your hope, your “wish” for us, moving through his hatred to your pain, left me appalled. It was one call, one moment in time, one in a sea of moments marred by bigotry. One of too many to count, of both overt and subversive vile deeds, that you faced. I don’t know where you found the strength, but I thank you now.
I wish I could reach back in time to comfort the thirty-two year old Rita Mae Brown of 1976. If that is possible, it is part of what these letters are meant to accomplish. I believe in such possibilities. Maybe that is a place where one finds strength, in knowing the outcome, knowing that one day it will be acknowledged, understood and appreciated, a knowing that what we do is vital in that moment and for the future. The future is now and I bring to fruition its part in the matter.
I hope you see that what you did made a difference. I illustrate a picture of someone affected by your life. Your vision lives on in us.
We must remember. We must recognize what those that champion justice face. We must know that it is not over, here and around the world, daily there is disparity of privilege.
Thoughtfully yours,

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