In the few remaining days I have as ECC president, several Edgemont residents, most especially parents of young children, have asked my advice on doing in Edgemont what other communities across America are doing today — which is demonstrating support for our African American friends and neighbors in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, honoring the memory of George Floyd and countless others before him who have needlessly and tragically lost their lives, and rejecting the systemic racism surrounding us that has led this to happen. While the substantial majority of us in Edgemont is white, I know from my years of volunteering for the Edgemont community that Edgemont’s support today for BLM is sincere, widespread and heartfelt. But what to do?
Unfortunately, because of COVID restrictions, we cannot invite Edgemont families to gather on school grounds; nor is it safe to invite Edgemont families to march along Edgemont streets to show their support, and iconic Edgemont locations like Crane Pond are just too small in size to ensure safe social distancing. I therefore encourage Edgemont residents to join other scheduled events elsewhere in Greenburgh and surrounding areas, and when you do, to make signs in support and proudly wear Edgemont insignia. We should let everyone know that ours is a community that acknowledges systemic racism, rejects it, and wants all of us, young and old, to learn what we can do to end it.
Because this is a learning experience, I am posting a 30-minute Facebook video message from the Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, a longtime Unitarian Universalist minister now based in California but who was in charge of a large congregation in NYC. Rev. McNatt is a longtime family friend and colleague of my wife, and her reflections were originally broadcast this week to a small group of her friends. I think more people need to watch it. Here is her bio and photo. https://www.sksm.edu/people/rosemary-bray-mcnatt/. Rev. McNatt speaks to us as an African American mother of two sons, now in their 20s, who want to join the protests, and must give them the “talk” she thought that, as someone who engaged in civil rights protests when she was their age, she thought she’d never have to give when her kids were born. She then talks about what to her surprise she now sees happening today in mostly white communities like ours, or as she puts it, in “small towns and cities across America where Black people generally don’t live.” I encourage you to watch with your family.