Opinion: Wood provided comfort, compassion when needed
As election season creeps up, many of us are bracing ourselves for the volatility and ugliness that is likely to erupt from our divided and dysfunctional two-party system. Candidates are already being intentionally provoked and bombarded with trick questions designed to pigeonhole them into certain ideologies and party positions.
Let’s be honest — no one agrees 100 percent with their registered political party.
Over the weekend, a Facebook post appeared on ANDD’s (Action Network of Darien Democrats) Facebook site accusing State Rep. Terrie Wood of suggesting that a vote for Biden was a vote for socialism. It then proceeded to question Wood’s commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.
As a friend of Wood’s, I feel it is my responsibility to share a story which highlights her swift action and compassionate response to an unfortunate and uncomfortable experience my family recently had here in town.
I am in a mixed-race marriage. I am white, and my husband, Emanuel is black. We are currently in the trenches raising three biracial children in the town of Darien. Our children are young and they are impressionable.
We have lived in town for nearly eight years. We adore Darien. From the very start, we have felt welcomed, included and often encouraged and sought out to participate in the shift in the Darien culture. We enjoy being pioneers and we understand its purpose.
That being said, just a few weeks ago my husband had an experience at the town transfer station that was a blatant example of “white privilege” and “entitlement.” It shook us both to the core.
The experience was unusual, and triggered a response about race relations in my husband that I have never witnessed in our 15 years of marriage. It sparked conversations at home about what we can do to grow, prepare and educate both our children and the community of which we are a part.
I reached out to State Rep. Wood as both my friend and local leader. She could not have been more compassionate, nor angrier about my husband’s experience. She was fully motivated and willing to bring to light the injustice and blatant racism my husband and two Latino men working at the transfer station had experienced.
My husband has been strongly encouraged to write an op-ed regarding what transpired that day, and other town leaders have also reached out to show their support and encouragement for my husband to use his voice. I pray he chooses to do this.
However, in his kindness, my husband chooses not to forget the life and family of the perpetrator. This person who displayed an obvious and belittling display of “white privilege” also happens to be a mother here in town, an active member of the BLM movement and a loud voice on equality and women’s rights.
Although I, many of my friends (across the political spectrum), and Representative Wood believe this woman should be called out for her behavior and exposed for her hypocrisy, my husband struggles with the release of her identity as it would easily destroy her reputation and “activism” here in town.
This is just the kind of man my husband is. A gentle soul who continuously looks for the good in people and protects the weakest in a community.
So please, before anyone suggests Mrs. Wood needs to “take a stand” on BLM, I suggest ANDD and those who follow their ideologies take a hard look at members of their own community..
Mrs. Wood’s actions demonstrate that Black Lives Matter, as she was the one who showed up on the doorstep of the black family in her hometown. She provided comfort, encouragement, compassion and a platform for my family at a time when we felt just a tinge of what million of families of color feel each and every day.
Lawn signs, marching, t-shirts, kneeling — none of it matters if you don’t change what’s on the inside.
For this movement to be successful, we need to begin in our very own living rooms. Let’s all make a choice to care for one another — to lift each other up and help each other succeed, regardless of the color of our skin.