Friday, January 20, 2006

Not the Photo for Next Year's Christmas Card

Last week several buildings, including two churches, in the historic African-American community of Boyds (a 20-minute drive from our home), were defaced with racist graffiti. One of the churches, St. Mark's, belongs to Action In Montgomery (AIM), the community organizing group I co-chair. Last Thursday I, and a number of other AIM leaders, attended a press conference held by the pastor of St. Mark's. We were there to show our support for our victimized friends and their community.

As a stay-at-home dad, I had my kids in tow, of course. They were having a great time playing in the grass and mud, pretty much oblivious to the more serious nature of the gathering. A sharp photographer for the Washington Post, Nikki Kahn, snapped a picture of them cheerfully playing in front of one of the defaced buildings (that's the picture above). It's a good picture. The juxtaposition of the innocent children and the hateful graffiti in the background is quite interesting, in my opinion anyway.

My wife and I briefly thought about picking up a couple extra copies of the paper to send to the relatives (Hey, Grandma, our kids are in the paper!), but then we thought about it some more. It's just not quite the image we want our family to have of our community.

(photo credit: Nikki Kahn - Washington Post)

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