I am in fear.
But not for myself.
I am in fear for my friends of color, fear for my family members of color, fear for all children of color who are being raised to know that, despite all the “progress” in the civil rights movement, there is still SO much further we need to go before their parents can sleep at night knowing their kids, their family members, THEY are safe.
Our country is on fire. We are being consumed by it. The flames of hate and violence are feeding on our fears, feeding on the intolerance, feeding on the blatant racism that is still so prevalent in this country. Yes, I see it. I live in the South. I see the looks my black friends get. I see the differences in treatment in the justice system. I see the differences in treatment by the law enforcement agencies.
I never thought, in my lifetime, I would see this. I never thought my children would have to see this. I have always taught it is not the color of the person’s skin that is important, but what is in their hearts. That we are all equal and that we are better than no other person around us.
I have never felt more naive in ALL MY LIFE.
I am a white woman, living in the South, married to a white man. I have white kids. I have never had to experience racism. I have never had to fear for my life because I am white. I have never had to worry someone would assume my teenage son was a threat and take his life before thinking twice just because he was a male with a certain skin color. I have never lost a family member to violence based upon their skin color. I have never experienced ANY of the atrocities that black people have because I AM WHITE. And that is what makes me naive, that is what makes me ignorant. My white privilege has made me blind to the world around me and this wake up call, this sudden thrusting of the realities of this world and how things really are sickens me. How could I be so naive? How??
I wish I knew. So, I am apologizing. I am sorry for anything I may have said that was naively racist. I am sorry for any assumptions I may have shared that were blatantly wrong. I am SO SORRY.
I hate this. I hate this violence. I hate that people are dying because they are black. Yes, that is what is happening. People are dying, being KILLED, because they are black. And then the protesting…the peaceful protesting of these terrible acts…shattered by more violence. More deaths. More anger. More protests. More violence. More deaths…..its this terrible vicious cycle that we keep playing out over and over and over again and it is solving NOTHING.
SHOOTING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE BLACK IS WRONG.
SHOOTING COPS DURING A PEACEFUL PROTEST IS WRONG.
SHOOTING PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE THEM IS WRONG.
SHOOTING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE GAY, OR MUSLIM, OR CHRISTIAN, OR WHITE, OR LATINO, OR ANY OTHER REASON IS WRONG.
SHOOTING PEOPLE OUT OF FEAR BECAUSE OF THEIR SKIN COLOR IS WRONG.
SHOOTING COPS IN RETALIATION IS WRONG.
Violence begets violence begets violence. It’s a dance we, as a human civilization, are so very familiar with and we can dance it in perfect rhythm and honestly, it’s a dance I wish we would forget sooner rather than later.
But what I will not forget are those who have lost their lives to this violence, due to the obviously ingrained racism that is so pervasive in law enforcement agencies all over the country. And I will not forget the officers that have also lost their lives to this racial violence-in retaliation or in the line of duty. I have learned something important from this, though. The Civil Rights Movement is FAR from over. FAR FROM IT. In fact, I think we have only begun to scratch the surface.
I am going to try and be a better ally. I am going to try and teach my kids to be better allies. I am going to check MY privilege if I start getting complacent. Because becoming complacent about this is a direct result OF my white privilege. I have that luxury-people of color DO NOT.
So this is me. Checking my privilege.