A lot happened over the past week that ruined my vacation beyond the DMV by far. It sadly, has ruined peoples lives.
I have had much to say about it. As a writer, my tool in life will often be my voice.
I grew up in an interracial household. I have back ground understanding the police force. My heart goes out to both sides of lives lost. My outrage goes out to the injustice that has been and continues to be. As sad as one is and as wrong as revenge always is, it still began in one place and until the change comes from that one place it will remain this way.
J and I had many long conversations over this. I myself get heated, my face gets flush, my voice raises, and I talk faster.
Even in a very different upbringing and background than mine, he could not help but to agree in many cases, if not all, but especially to the statements I made of;
“Police are trained at a $50,000-$100,000 amount to not do anything that makes them respond with “Oh Shit.” They are trained to run on training, but NOT fear. Fear just made you a murderer, not an officer of the law. #iwontstaysilent”
“My b/f carries his gun at his side when driving. Never has he had a problem with an officer if pulled over. Never has he even had to be afraid. He is Austrian. He is white. He doesn’t even know that someone could be scared for that…being pulled over, following the law, legally carrying a handgun. It doesn’t cross his mind that an officer might shoot him. And an officer won’t. Won’t even think about it. #Dontstaysilent”
Among many others, he could not help but to agree. Even if the “suspect” had done wrong, in each case the trained police officer, even more, handled it wrong.
I am not trying to stir up ‘cop hate’, no, not at all. I am trying to remind what a police officer is supposed to be. I am trying to speak on injustice. On murder caught on camera. This is chicken before the egg. And all of this has continuously brought up videos of horrible training…or lack there of. A problem that needs to be solved. We pay these people to carry a gun, they should be doing it right.
Someone claimed guns are the problem, but before guns white men used rope on the black men…this has not changed. Have we forgotten Jasper, TX? This is in my own life time, among many other situations like it.
In conversation with J much was about how far behind we are. He is a privileged white man. He works hard on his own but in all reality he has been born into privileged regardless. This is always a fun part of explaining ‘white privileged.’ We went from how far behind America is in reality to what is in peoples minds who don’t have to live it…daily.
Obama is having to actually pass laws for equality of pay for women.
The right to our bodies is the constant topic of conversation. Laws that passed in my mothers time are being fought against to switch back. But attached to those one laws they don’t like are many many many that contribute to our societies health care. As I had to say to J, it is not one thing. The bathroom laws are not one thing (we are both pro trangender being allowed to use the bathroom they choose or simply to merge.) The abortion laws are not one thing. Many things change with that one word being splashed across the media.
For gay and lesbian and transgender. Another rash of killings that come from most often not from ‘terrorists’ but from the privileged white ‘jock.’
Not that long ago women would be arrested for voting. Now we have a woman running for president and a black man for president….so pointed out my privileged white partner in response.
But even so, it is always a fight about ‘that black man in office’ or how a woman who can’t run the country.’ Until the day that is not a mention at all…we will not yet have won as America being better, ‘great again’ (when were we ever better than we are now, Trump? You must be talking about back when it was easier to file for bankruptcy. Has anybody ever asked him what he actually means by that?) or better than any other country who still builds houses out of dirt and makes women cover their faces or when ‘crimes’ are determined in the street by men who so choose to make judge and jury rather than peace.
Where are we different? Where are we more ‘evolved’ than a third world? Because we have easier access to run up debt and to have fancy cars, houses and expensive phones on debt? Is that what makes us better than any other? We still allow our children much less our veterans who have fought for our country to be homeless and starve. We still have cities who HAVE NO CLEAN WATER.
I live proud of the accomplishments of women and what we have made. Proud of those who have paved a path for me to live, yes, a much easier life in many ways.
But I still live in a world and a country where because I am woman…I am less.
…In only the eye’s of the white men who decide this (anybody who wants to bring up Muslim…they don’t run our offices and laws and my equality and rights and pay. I am talking about those who run and ‘boss’ our country and laws and businesses.)
And in a world and a country where, because a color of skin, someone else is dead. This is where I live.
Yes, it is often hard to be proud.
What has really changed?
Do you really think that we are so advanced?
Only the comfortable white man who doesn’t live, breath, and KNOW reality would think so. Only those will be the ones who point out an arrest record or say otherwise or simply remain silent or have posted prayers on their facebook for the police officers fallen but not the men who fell yesterday or a word of “I promise to do my part in making change.” What really gets me are the ‘Christian’ ones who don’t show that, yes…all lives matter. BUT…you show very well that NOT all lives do by your silence one day and for one family. You showed that black lives do not matter by your posts of #bluelivesmatter, and then by your silence for the prayers for them or your white washed “prayer for peace” not for the families of those men.
Even as a woman who still has to fight for equality. Who has always had to fight off sexual advances from a boss or threats of being fired. Who is still not ‘as good as you’ knows not the fear of the black man or boy in this world, of the have to work twice as hard as me black woman in this world.
Am I stirring up the race war?
Good, so did Martin Luther King Jr.
I have pondered greatly as a writer on the fact that white writers write so much in fantasy, but black writers write so much in truth and what they live…and then when we white people do read it it seems to sad, horrible, terrible to even be true. And more often than not we don’t allow our children to read them. They can read Shakspeare and of teenage suicidal deaths but not of Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
You can fight with peace but out of peace will come truth and truth makes people uncomfortable and uncomfortable is what we have to make you to make change. Because you are and always have known comfort….while many know well of the worlds discomforts.
I do not condone going and shooting police officers. EVER. I don’t condone shooting anybody unless in protection of your life or hunting. I am a gun carrier and not at all anti-gun. I do not believe in revenge. But too many men are feeling the need to protect their lives and it is police officers who made them feel that way…and so….I say to all, men and police, put down your guns. This war will not be handled in violence. But it will be handled in your voice. More than the voice of the back man…it must come also from the voice of the white. Those who can and are in the position to make the changes needed to be made. Within the actions. Within the places that must make change. The police departments across the country. From every police chef and officer. From every mayor, judge, governor, jury, government and congress and from our President and our running candidates.
Only your silence will allow the same to continue. Only your silence on one death but not another shows where you stand. Only your silence shows that only to you do blue lives matter, but not all, not black.
It will be a long time before a black person won’t any longer feel afraid. That is how relationships go….trust. But you have broken it, not just today but in every moment of yesterday of an African-American, they have never known a peace or reason to trust. They didn’t start with the ‘crime’ first to be untrusted and to not trust you. They started in this country with every reason not to trust. They started with a police force across the country trained to make them not trust from the very start and who often run on the same ways of thinking of hundreds of years ago. And you must earn it back. THAT is your job. Protection. Trust. Peace keeping.