It’s hard to feel sorry for those whose way of life is changing, but it needs to.

The "Good Old Days" were very bad old days, and what was old-fashioned would be too onerous for their tastes today: They took all precautions necessary to survive World wars, flus and polio — but now won’t don a mask to protect themselves, let alone others.

At local protests led by so many young people, most of whom are white, I could tell that, unlike those before them, they see our world and don’t want it — and it’s their world from now on, not ours. We had our chance and we blew it.

Cars honked their approval at our signs and chants, though one guy yelled that all people matter, unmindful that George Floyd didn’t — nor all those who died before this defining moment could come.

A man made a YouTube while driving around Fifth Avenue in New York City, bewailing all the iconic stores now boarded up due to vandalism or the threat of it. To him, property is more important than people, and he blamed looting on the protesters and not on opportunistic thieves who take advantage of chaotic times.

Those who cater to wealthy society will be back in business in no time and without a hitch, but all those dead blacks for whom we protest are dead forever.

Jon Stewart says police serve as a border patrol between two Americas in order to perpetuate segregation, calling to my mind what slave owners always feared, that Blacks would riot and rebel and change that ugly world forever.

I watch the news now filled with images of mayors and governors and police chiefs, so many of whom are Black, and recall younger days when I thought that if white society just heard the truth, things would change. Silly me.

It’s taken all this time, including as a civil rights leader and in the perpetual company of Blacks to go through what they have for generations — just because I was in their company. Now, the face of our world is changing, and I couldn’t be more proud.

But this must be more than a moment. It must be an eternal movement or we will forever wage an American Civil War.

John Burciaga of Newburyport is a former vice president and housing chair of a NAACP branch. One harrowing experience alluded to above appeared as “I Remember Baltimore” in this space five years ago. He blogs at "Ichabod’s Kin" on WordPress and may be reached directly at


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