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A Letter To Someone Who'll Never Read It

Posted 8/31/2020 6:50am by David Zemelsky.

I want all of you to know that what I say or think isn't any more important then anyone else's thoughts.  Writing to you each week help me know and clarify things that I'm thinking about.  If by chance, what gets said hits a chord with you and helps you to examine or reexamine what's on your mind-then that is a very wonderful thing.

And ( and this is a very big "and"), my note last week quite unintentionally , but none the less thoughtlessly was not respectful of the heart of someone of color who read it.  After reading it, she sent a note expressing her disapproval  of what was written and then unsubscribed. Her reasons are sound and therefore  find myself wanting to share them with you so that you too might understand why she was so angered by my note. You can find last weeks letter at starlightgardensct.com in case you might have deleted the note already. It should be the next addition below what gets written for this week

This world of white people learning how to appropriately write, talk and feel about race becomes a school in itself.  White folks, such as myself, can and will make mistakes.  This is not good, especially when the mistake causes anger from a person of color.  It happened this week. I am committed to learning everything I possibly can to insure that this won't be repeated.

I hope that an open letter to her here would both underline some very important  considerations when talking about things regarding race that you, the reader would be able to see.  And perhaps, though not that likely, a friend of her's might see my note and in that way, she'd be able to see that her letter has helped create some change in another human being.

So below is the letter to her.

Dear Y___,

Above all else, my intentions were to help in any way to make the world a better place.  And, this letter for you did not in any shape or form do that for you. For that I am very sorry.  Since getting your note, I've put knowing, understanding your anger as a top priority.  Below is my takeaway.

First off, the use of the term "negro" is no longer used in any form any where without it being offensive. Although, I thought it was still a term used to describe that genre of music, I was mistaken.

Most importantly,and humbly I have come to realize that it is impossible for someone of my background (white, male) to, in any shape or form be able to walk in "someone else's shoes" and specifically I'm referring to the character in Toni Morrison's "Beloved" who chose to murder her baby rather than have it subjected to slavery.  No white person will ever understand or feel the way that person felt.  There are just some feelings that a white person (myself), no matter how empathetic they might be will ever be able to feel.  Is very clear that after 400 plus years of oppression, African-American people will need to say "enough" to white folks claiming "they get it".

Sadly, last weeks letter has ended our relationship, but it still gave me knowledge of how to think or write about horrific events around racism in my future.  Although, I know you aren't looking for any gratitude, it still remains that learning about my mistake will help me for the future. 

With that in mind, it is with gratitude that you took a moment to help me see something so much clearer.  Thank you.

Please stay safe,

David

And to change subjects completely: At the farm this week, we are basically in full glory.  Lettuce, which we grow successfully all Summer, inspite of the heat, has now become a high point for our salad mix. Lettuce heads,too.  Tomatoes are so magnificent that it has become impossible to find the exact perfect word to describe them.  I will say that it is possible that they will sweep you off your feet. 

There's more-much more choices.  Check out the store for the complete list. Please remember the deadlines for ordering.  Its clearly marked at the checkout.  I will remind everyone that orders are ready for pick up after 2pm on Wednesday and Friday. Saturday is different-its after 3pm.  The reason being that we're getting some special items for you at the Cityseed/New Haven market and won't be back from there soon enough to be ready by 2pm.

Please have a safe and wonderful week.  And thank you for listening to my own thoughts, as we all make our way thru this challenging world.