Over the weekend, my son and I watched a really fantastic movie starring Denzel Washington entitled “The Hurricane”. It’s based on the true story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a professional boxer. Mr. Carter was the target of racially motivated corruption that saw him imprisoned for more than half his life. Through the hard work and determination of an unlikely group of champions, Mr. Carter achieved justice and his freedom. Those champions who were most instrumental in the triumph were Canadian citizens and they were white.
It’s a film that I was very excited to share with my son. While the movie addressed many issues, its main issue dealt with race. In the movie Denzel’s character; victimized by a system of injustice for minorities, came to realize that not everyone subscribed to the hatred his tormenters had subjected him to. “They are not all bad” was a line he gave in the movie.
This morning began like any other-me going into my son’s room to wake him for school and turning on his TV to interrupt his snoozing. Good Morning America was already on. Within seconds, the animalistic brutality that occurred in McKinney, Texas was on screen and I raged right alongside many who are so tired of this being the story every other day.
I repeated Denzel’s line from the movie to my son as though I were trying to convince myself of that very thing. I watched this…adult, treat a kid-a child with the same regard as he would a raving perpetrator he was trying to take down. I told my son not to believe that all was lost-not to believe that things were incapable of changing-that he and his generation could still accomplish what mine and so many others before could not. I wouldn’t acknowledge what is probably already true- that his generation has already seen so much hate of this caliber-are they now desensitized to the point that they don’t even care about change anymore?
In spite of this display of brutality, I remain hopeful. I remain hopeful, because I recall long ago footage of a similar nature. Footage of courageous people marching toward a change that seemed impossible to achieve. They too were beaten for no other reason than they dared to strive-they dared and they achieved. I will remain hopeful that justice will prevail-as it does in spite of the atrocities we see. I will remain hopeful that the outcry for reform will be heard and appropriately addressed. I remain hopeful that my son’s generation-that all our generations may one day find that elusive thing called change.