As a white girl growing up in the 1950’s South, I was socialized to suppress my anger. “Smile though your heart is aching,” Nat King Cole (a frequent target of racists) sang. “If you can’t say something positive, don’t say anything at all,” my mother taught.
When Trump was elected, I was devastated. I recognized the evil his new status as president had unleashed. Since then my heart has been aching. I am terrified. I am furious.
Not wanting to dump my anger and all the negatively I’ve been feeling on social media, I’ve taken a break from blogging. On Facebook I’ve mostly “Liked” and “Shared” what others post about the political and social climate under the Trump administration. Besides, plenty of excellent writers have been expressing my feelings much more eloquently than I can. Let them speak for me. I even set a new goal: find positive stories to post on my website (which I never got around to).
I thought I was doing the right thing, being silent these past seven months. Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville challenged that notion.
I may not have profound insight. I may not have profound words. That doesn’t mean my voice is worthless. I plan to express my anger and fears on my site in coming days.
For now, let me just say—not with eloquence—that as a white woman, I abhor the racism displayed this past weekend in Charlottesville.
Nancy Werking Poling’s most recent book is Before It Was Legal: a black-white marriage (1945-1987). It is available in paperback and on Kindle.