My book, Happy, was published in late July. The subject matter is racism in America. Two kids, a twelve year old African-American boy with Autism and a five year old white girl get lost in the riots after another unarmed black youth was shot by a policeman. Deshawn Smith is a civil rights organizer who lost his way until he heard about the two lost children. These are the words he spoke to the crowd.
Deshawn Smith walked on the stage. The crowd grew quiet. He looked out over the people standing in front of him. They were waiting for his words. No one was on their cell phones. No one was talking. They wanted guidance. They wanted a leader that spoke for all of them. And he felt humbled.
“The statue behind me is of John Patrick. A man who fought for freedom and equality all his life. He did not spew hate or preach violence. He led by example. He showed that each of us, white or black, man, woman, and child has value. That is what my movement is all about.
But somewhere along the way I was turned from that idea. I forgot my original purpose because it is easy to see the hate of other people and give back nothing but hate in return. Too many people have died because of racial inequality in this land founded on freedom. Too many people are kept in poverty because we fear others, we fear the stranger.
But there are two children, one black and one white, who did not fear each other but trusted each other and cared for each other. They know nothing about racism, or poverty, or injustice. They know trust, and friendship, and love. They are lost somewhere in this city. They are hiding because they cannot abide the hatred that they see all around them. They are frightened by the burned out buildings, the looted shops, and the body bags lying on the sidewalks.
And why shouldn’t they be? None of us want this kind of world for our children. The question I ask you is why aren’t we afraid of that? How did we come to accept hatred as a part of our society? How can we live in a world where this kind of violence is accepted?
Let us join together today to fight the hatred, not by throwing rocks, not by screaming slogans, not by intimidation, but by looking for two kids who have shown us how to love. Get with a group and take responsibility for a street or two. Go through every building, every alley; let’s find these kids. But I ask you one thing. Welcome a stranger into your group. If you’re black invite a white person in. If you are white do the same for your black neighbor. If you’re Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Jew, find a stranger to work with. Because the way to fight hatred is to see the other not as a stranger to be feared, but as a person who has the same hopes and dreams as yourself.”
The book is available at: https://www.createspace.com/6305829