Pick kids up from school- Check.
Race over to health shop to get lemons, chia seeds, random health stuff and an afterschool on-the-run snack. Check.
Hot-foot it to another school a few kilometers away, wander about an empty school trying to find the gym to sign up for a sport program that was in fact not starting till the following week.
It really could have been this simple. Race about needlessly, go home, do homework. But it became more.
The afternoon became a lesson in hatred, fear, small mindedness, racism, slavery, and a lesson in lynching. It wasn’t my plan, but somebody else forced this lesson upon us while we wandered around an empty school eating our veggie chips.
I saw the hate signs first. Hard to miss Obama’s face printed and blown up into posters. I didn’t bother reading the words, knew where it was heading in a glimpse. Didn’t see the point in giving it too much attention. No- it were the empty chairs hanging from trees that really made me stop, gasp and freeze in disbelief.
I guess I’m somewhat of a naive Aussie. I’d seen the movies, “Mississippi Burning” and such- I’d read historical facts about American slavery. Didn’t know much, but enough to know racist comments can still be tossed about without much thought. Yes, I certainly am privilege because I’m white, but more so because I don’t ever mix with such haters.
Well the whole chair-hanging-in-tree part was lost on my kids. So I gave a quick history lesson and filled them in on Clint Eastwood’s interpretation of Obama as much as I, or anyone else could. I went on about the ills of hatred and outrageous acts of crime. Ironically, over talking becomes my fallback when I don’t have words. We remained still as we stared in disbelief at this hater’s front yard. My kid’s baffled faces only proved to me that my explanations really did have no explanation. And that all I could really do, was to hang on to hope.