We received a page-and-a-half letter from an anonymous neighbor letting us know our Black Lives Matter sign was making them uncomfortable and asking us to take it down. They shared that the sign was disrupting the "harmony between neighbors."
I noticed that the letter writer wanted to take a tone of reasonableness and imply they were from the center. Even stating that they had contributed to BLM and would be just as upset to see a Trump sign. This attempt made me think of Martin Luther King’s letter from a Birmingham jail.
I encourage you to read it. I would like to highlight this from his opening paragraph:
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice."
“A negative peace which is the absence of tension”. It would be so easy for me to take this path, to remove the offending sign, to not not make my neighbors uncomfortable. I could put up an All are Welcome sign and enjoy the warmth of approval.
It is hard for me to make people uncomfortable. It makes me feel nervous inside when I wear a BLM pin or have conversations with friends and family. I am worried about not belonging. I’m worried about upsetting someone, about being yelled at. But, I don’t need to worry that my children will be killed by the police in a traffic stop.
And that is why I will continue to be uncomfortable in making others uncomfortable and why I will keep my Black Lives Matter sign front and center in my yard.
Edina Resident, Minnehaha Woods