"The whole world can become the enemy,
when you lose what you love."
Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves
Yesterday was Friday, but not just any Friday... Black Friday. A day Alan and I cherish as much as any other holiday celebrated during the year. We look forward to this day, because we are avid people watchers. People are interesting, and Black Friday can bring out the best, worst, and eccentric in the people who clammer for bargains! So, Alan and I make the trek to our favorite place to watch the Black Friday holiday tradition, Union Square in San Francisco.
We had planned to leave the house at 10:00 am, but we ended up sleeping in. As midday rolled around we decided to make our way over to the city. When we got there, we found that the crowds in and around the city were larger than we had seen in recent years, so much so, that finding a place to park proved impossible. That, coupled with more than one grouchy driver, also looking for a place to park, made us come to the conclusion that we had just left the house too late to find a place to park. So, with a bit of sadness, we left Union Square, and headed instead for the Embarcadero Center.
Embarcadero Center is also a wonderful place to shop, but it's parking is always easy to deal with, and with the added attraction of the Holiday Ice Rink, it made for a much calmer day. The trees that line the plaza are all lit up with Autumn color, and the happiness of the folks enjoying the ice rink was downright contagious! Oh my, I love it there! I even took a short walk through Sue Bierman park in search of the famous San Francisco parrots, but they had decided to fly elsewhere in the city, I will have to try again next week.
Anyway, we decided to leave the city and head home for dinner around 4 pm. When we got home, about an hour later, we heard on the news that Union Square had been overrun by protesters just after we left. Protestors still fighting the injustice that happened earlier this week in Ferguson Missouri. Ferguson... a heartbreaking situation if ever there was one. I remember being told "policeman are our friends" as a child. I remember being told, "If you are ever scared or lost, find a policeman and he, or she, will help you." Sigh. I don't believe that anymore.
Children are dying. The enemy... what does the enemy look like? Is he black? Is he white? Does he look like a cop? Does he wear a mask? Does she carry a stick? How about a stone? Does the name he or she call me really not hurt me? How about the preconceived notions about who I am and what I am about based on the most superficial information? Will that hurt me? Will the enemy scream in my ear, nearly breaking my eardrum, because I am wearing a leopard print coat, like I was wearing that one year? No... wait... Peta are the good guys, fighting the good fight, right?
Who is the enemy?
Who is the friend?
As I sit here writing this, it has already been reported that just after the Union Square tree lighting ceremony had finished, windows had been knocked out at Macy's. Protestors were walking to the square with hammers in their hands. Workers at a nearby jewelry store were cowering in the corner of the store. Protestors were shouting... "Black Friday Doesn't Matter, Black Lives Do!"
I couldn't agree more. I haven't purchased a single thing on Black Friday in over 20 years. Not one thing. My heart aches for Michael Brown. I understand the need for protesting your beliefs and will defend it with my dying breath, but not the violence. Not the breaking of windows and looting. It's sad, and desperate and the message gets lost in the violence.
That's the saddest part... The Message Gets Lost In The Violence.
And when that happens, what's left?
Leaf Of The Day