** I wrote the below before hearing about the shootings in Dallas. The shootings of innocent men, it’s senseless. So much violence so much pain and so much sadness. It has to stop!! It has to. What are we teaching our children, what are we teaching one another? Where is the love and understanding for just being humans?
In the news today we hear about bombings, we hear about terrorism and about bad things happen to good people. And the Nightly News we hear a murder and rape and corruption. Violence has become part of our generation. In last 2 days we have seen black men killed by police officers. Both of these have been recorded and they are graphic and they are scary and they bring me to tears.
I was born in the mid-sixties. I grew up during the Vietnam war but I was so young I didn’t understand. The ism’s didn’t seem to affect me as a child. But today they affect me as an adult and they affect my children and they will affect my children’s children. We have racism. We have sexism. We have every ism the world affecting us. We worry about race, sex, gender, religion and the differences of the people. Where in truth we are all people. We all have problems. We all have fears. We all are different. But those differences we have expounded upon; we have taken those differences and made them the reasons we can do things. Good things and bad things and truly things that don’t matter.
We do bad things to people. Be it done in an uniform or street clothes.Be it done with a gun and knife or words. If we sit there acting unaware or unsympathetic or just turn our backs because it’s too hard for us to understand, we too our at fault. We cannot turn a blind eye to it any longer. We cannot be the people of white privilege. We cannot think that is going not going to affect this any longer. It is affecting this everyday.
I cannot say I understand what it is to be a black person in today’s world. I am blonde hair blue-eyed and a woman. I have not faced what my black brothers and sisters have faced nor will I. I can’t understand their righteous anger or their fear. I sit in my white world naive to their experiences. Am I glad that my white children will not have the fear of their black friends, of course I am. But I know friends with black children who carry that fear. For them I hurt, for them I ache.
Today’s world is a changing world. Not changing for the best. Not changing to be all that it can be but it’s changing to be less than it should be for children, for those who worked so hard during the Civil Rights Movement. By now they expected to see a difference I would think. But now it seems we have slid back to more violent times. Times that we’re more aware due to cameras and cell phones and social media. Live streaming on Facebook that opens our eyes and hurts our hearts.
We have the right to bear arms and I know many of my family carry guns. They have concealed weapon permits, they hunt and target shoot. My oldest son is in the army and has seen three tours. So I’m not coming down on guns even though I’m definitely deathly afraid of them due to the death of my brother in accidental shooting. You have the right to carry concealed guns with a permit. I don’t know if both men killed this week had the permits but I know one did. A gun does not give somebody Authority or power. When I did shoot a gun I was taught to respect it. I was taught that it was a weapon that could kill. I only shot at paper Targets. But I was taught never to point agun at someone unless I was going to use it.
A gun is the final show of force. When a gun is pointed at another person it is not going to end well. I cannot put myself in the minds of the officers. I don’t know what was going on with them or what they were thinking. I watched both those videos over and over and over. Looking at the angles, looking to see what happened. And what I see and what I hear horrified me. One shot can injure a man even kill him but it will definitely slow him down. But four shots that man is gone.
Were the officers scared? Were they reactionary? I don’t know but my mind and mouth scream out WHY?!? Were those death necessary? Two men gone in two days. Men with children and families. Two men whose names will be tied together in history.
Will this change us…I hope to hell so, that we open our eyes to what is going on, that we are racist. We have too much separation between us due to our skin color, our gender and our beliefs. Our ism’s are still separating us. Tonight I sheltered my little girl from the news. I want her to see the good in the world and not the ugly. I want to shelter myself but I know I can’t.
I don’t know yet what I can do but I want to see a change happen. I want to see barriers fall. I want black men and women to stop dying by violence; the violence from others and to themselves.
Tonight I pray, tonight I cry, tonight I Say No more.