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Archive for the ‘justice’ Category

How to write anything tonight out of anything other than sadness and anger? And yet do I have anything to add that has not already been said better?

I have friends who are black. Tonight I can’t help but think about how it could have been one of them in that car, or on the ground, bleeding to death from bullet wounds. Husbands and fathers raising great children, working long hard hours, who are there for their families. Community leaders who invest their lives in serving their neighbors.Women whose intellect and conviction can change the world but who fear for their brothers’ and fathers’ and sons’, and their own lives.

It could have been Rod, or Alex, or Michael. It could have been Seantae or Cheryl, or Mechiel, or anyone in their families. People I count my brothers and sisters. Instead, this time it was Alton, and Philando, and Diamond.

No one even bothered to check his pulse. While the officer kept a gun trained on him as he died slumped in the front seat with a four-year-old girl in the back seat. While no one bothered to comfort his girlfriend except her four-year-old daughter. In fact they cuffed her and hauled her into the squad car, then to the station for hours like she was a criminal.

Why? Because apparently we white people are so freaking scared of black people that we shoot first and find out facts later. The benefit of the doubt is a big joke. The right to bear arms and and legally carry apparently only applies to white folks.

I am white and privileged. I don’t know personally what this is like. But I believe my black friends when they tell me this is the truth they live with, have all their lives. We have to say black lives matter, because apparently too much of the time they don’t. That’s the point. Don’t you dare go saying all lives matter right now. If you don’t understand why, read every word of this article. Of course they do. The point is black lives matter too, just as much as anyone else’s.

Neither is the debate about whether there are good police officers. Of course there are. There are even good police officers who do bad things in the heat of the moment and regret it the rest of their lives. But like everyone else, law enforcement officers need to be held accountable and trained to actually respond to all races alike.

The point is that this cannot go on. It is not acceptable. And it will never change if we aren’t willing to look at it from the point of view of the people who live every day of their lives afraid that they will be feared and distrusted, and even killed, simply because of the color of their skin.

I have a long way to go. A lot of the time I don’t know what to do, but I know it starts inside  and works its way out.

Nikki Lerner, a singer/speaker/writer whom I really respect, lives and breathes racial reconciliation. She calls us all, all hues and shades, to lean into relationships with people of other cultures and skin color, to really see and hear each other and learn to give grace. Please, let’s do that. If we don’t have any intercultural relationships, now might be the time to start getting to know someone different from ourselves. Please let’s do that too.

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