Tonight I finally was able to go to see the movie Fruitvale Station, we had babysitters and I was excited to go. It is funny… usually people do not look forward to paying for something that is going to break their hearts all over again. But tonight I was.
I have to take a quick moment to rewind here though. About a week ago my son Rob was riding to summer camp and asked me if he could go with me to see the Fruitvale Station movie. He said he felt it would be good and educational for him. So after a week of thinking about it, we decided to take him with us.
So today we went to the 6:45 showing, popcorn in hand, and ready to watch the show. The anticipation of the ending was somehow side tracked with moments of smiles, laughter and genuine enjoyment of what I was experiencing, even though the inevitability of the ending weighed heavily on my heart the whole time. And the end happened, and I sat with my son and husband, and we sobbed.
The spirit in that movie is of the divine, working its magic through the screen and images of devastation, and a handful of actors. Every time we humanize the experience of the oppressed, the Gods are working their magic so that we can remember how to love again.
I believe that it is the loss of love that disconnects us from the human experience of those around us, allows us to pass judgment on others, and then profile the faces of those different from us to assume acceptable responses to our biased perceptions. Yet if love is the law, how can this ever be OK in our world? I pondered those questions in that theater tonight, and again when I got home while talking at the kitchen table with my son.
It was the loss of love and the amplified ego of those with badges in the movie that took Oscars life. It was a grieving family and producer that worked hard to restore love back into the picture. And the spiritual, social and political reminders we got watching that movie together connected us to all the things that I feel are important. Allowing my son to learn and cultivate why justice is important, why understanding privilege is essential, and why love for who we all can become is mandatory, is very important to a future he can find hope in. He has a responsibility, as do I, and as do you.
After sitting down tonight Rob and I decided to move forward with a project to honor the concept of social justice that many people have died for, including our ancestors, and those like Oscar Grant. We agreed to build our social justice altar together. And although Oscar did not sign up for that job willingly, he is a reminder of why it is that very important.
In the movie Oscar’s mom said something so profound as she was waiting in the hospital for news of her son. She told his friends to take the anger and channel that energy to him. Turn that anger into something useful, and even though he didn’t make it… the message stands.
I hope that all tears generated in theaters around the world for the heartbreaking injustice that happened in front of a train full of people at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, California… and then later in a court room when his killer only served 11 months for his death, will generate enough energy to send healing to his spirit, and hope to his family. If what is remembered lives, this movie will help Oscar live a long time beyond his physical years.
And if love is the law we have to make a point to remember that spirituality is in the doing, not just a distant belief. We have to act equality, demonstrate justice, walk in love, push against injustice, demand opportunities, and push love to others as an extension of divine purpose.
If you only see one movie this year, make it is Fruitvale Station.
Caution: this is footage, widely circulated on the news media, of the actual shooting of Oscar Grant. No resistance, the cop’s knee on his head, and the other officer clearly stands up and shoots him.
Interview with Michael Jordan, the actor that plays Oscar Grant in the movie.
And here is a video of Oscar Grant’s daughter talking about the excitement of the movie release.