Adrienne Baker: FlutePursuit

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We Are All In This Together, Reflections on the Service for Erica Garner

Yesterday I, along with many others of the public, gathered to support Erica Garner's family in their mourning at the service to pay their respects to Erica Garner

I'd never been to a service for a public figure before and it was powerful to see the impact that she had on her community. Strangers she hasn't even met, who came to mourn all the same at this tragic loss.

Al Sharpton spoke, and he reached my heart with his words. I was skeptical of what he would have to say; I have not always agreed with his approach, opinions, prescriptions for what we as a community should do to combat the institution of racism in our country. And that is precisely what he spoke about. He spoke about the strength of Erica, her determination, and her way to fight oppression, which was at times very different from his own. Yet, he made it clear he supported her all the same. He spoke of how different movements have existed at the same time yet we are all going in the same direction.

And that hit me, because his call to us in her memory was one I feel passionately about and have always gotten behind: we are all in this together. He says when they [the police] shoot us, they don't ask what religion we are, etc. They don't ask those deeper questions. So, we must uplift each other, lest we do their tearing down of ourselves for them.

Maybe that is what we can make 2018 about.