I am watching the incessant barrage of coverage on protests surrounding the death of a young black man, shot by a white officer who was not indicted. I am flashing back to 25 years ago when I watched the same scene unfold in my hometown when a young black man (child, he was 16) was shot by a white officer, not convicted. It’s been 25 years and we have a black president, but this still happens day in and out. I have no way of explaining that last statement to you.
We absolutely, if nothing else in life, must put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. And if you can’t squeeze into those shoes because you can’t imagine how they could possibly fit– then you must trust the person in the shoes when they tell you “we are scared for our babies because they are black and therefore might get killed, even with their hands up. Killed by the people sworn to protect us.” You. Must. Trust. Them.
As a mommy, I am terrified for the mommies in Ferguson, and all the Fergusons in this country. I am in awe of their bravery for showing up and I am scared for them tucking babies in tonight. As little boys, I want you to NEVER know fear like that– and you probably won’t. Last night, Big One, you experimented with calling 911 and the nice officer on the other end took the time to talk to you about why that was not ok– police officers, in general, are good, brave people who you should look up to. When did this all get so convoluted and sincerely f’d up? I don’t know. There are some seriously unfair things happening and I can’t explain it.
What I can do, is show up. What I can do, is speak up if I see or hear something unfair. I can point out the GREAT irony in the news story of the white “granny with a gun” I saw today; had she been black? Not sure the ending would have been as cute. I can also point out with horror the supporters of the “open carry” law who stroll around with giant guns strapped to their backs in local stores and restaurants. Are they black? Oh no sirs, definitely not, cause THAT would cause a stir and, sadly, probably more.
People are really, truly angry and scared. I do NOT care if you cannot imagine yourself in those shoes you hear? You trust the damn people in them because they know. They know their truth and the truth is that it is not safe to be young, male and black in our country. This is horrifying. Be horrified. And stand up for your friends. If I teach you nothing else, let it be this.