Over spring break I spent three days in Boston. One of those days was filled with window shopping up and down Newbury Street, on which there were two churches that had flags or posters which advocated for the Black Lives Matter movement. This pleasantly surprised me because I did not expect churches to be so outspoken about black racism, especially in a large city. A lot of people, nevertheless public churches, would be so apprehensive to voice their opinions about racism. Yet, these churches did so with a simple poster or flying flag. These symbols and efforts to reach out to those battling racism, to those who feel alone, and to those who feel discouraged make me appreciate the littler things in life. Knowing that there are people and places in the world offering help or comfort to those in times of distress makes me feel much more grateful towards those who go out of their way to try and improve someone else’s life. As someone who finds a great distinction between niceness and kindness (kindness being a quality much more inherent and niceness being a quality that is slightly more superficial), simply hanging a poster that says “Black Lives Matter” or “Any and All Are Welcome Here” is a level of kindness that I believe should be exhibited and shared much more in this world.
Despite the churches’ kind efforts, however, I also felt sad after passing the churches. I often find myself wondering why people are so cruel to others. We all have our own opinions of anything and everything, but another person’s happiness, safety, and identity should not be judged or attacked. I assume the reason the churches advertised their safe space was either due to the fact that they believed that part of Boston was either not inclusive enough or just to make sure black people knew they could worship there. However, the fact that black people have to even think twice about entering places with no safe space advertising is extremely discouraging. The discriminatory events that have manifested throughout history and shaped our present-day society must stop. If they don’t, suppressed people might begin to lose hope.