I count myself among the many who will fight for change
I am an African-American single mother of two, a three year old daughter and a one year old son. I fear for my children as they grow older.
When I first heard about the shooting of Michael Brown, I was confused and deeply saddened that such horrifying violence still occurs in 2014. I thought people of all races and origins would have more compassion and value the lives of one another. Michael Brown’s death challenged my thinking. Seeing all the demonstrations and the large number of people actively showing support gave me a sense of relief. I recognize that some have hate and anger in their hearts. I am moved and amazed to see scores of people wanting to see authorities do the right thing—deliver justice for Michael Brown.
As a mother of two young children, I feel deeply for Michael Brown's mother. As a parent I look forward to the joy of seeing my children grow and mature. I think about their graduations from high school and college, and hope for their wedding day. A mother's love-- a parent's love-- cannot be adequately defined by words or categorized. The thought of a child’s life being snatched away and future destroyed is unbearable. My children are my world. They keep me focused by pushing me to live into my full potential as a woman, parent, and Christian. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child especially by the hands of someone whose job it is to protect and serve the weak and vulnerable.
As a Christian, I am disappointed that in a world where God has done so much for us, we, as people, cannot love one another. I cannot understand how there are still people out there who carry around such hatred. I hope that Christians will not hesitate to voice their concern, understanding, and support for Michael Brown, his parents, and the people of Ferguson. As children of God, we are called to a ministry of presence for the neighbors we know and those who are different and unknown to us. We are called to take a stand for that which is right and just.
I still have faith in people. I count myself among the many who will fight for change. I am looking forward to the day when I will no longer have to worry about my children's lives being taken away just because of who they are, how they are defined and how they look. I still believe that this day is possible and I will never give up hope. I teach my children to love God and that all things are possible through him. Rather than focusing on the broken things of the world, I focus on the good and live in hope. This focus is for me and especially for my children.
Kaneisha Rashelle Turner is a Young Adult member of the Union of Black Episcopalians. Ms. Turner lives in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio and worships at St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights.