I’m adding my voice to the noise.
When I’m upset and my brain is chaos, I write to try to make sense of life. I know that I won’t make sense of any of this but maybe I’ll feel better.
I want to add my voice because I’m heartbroken like the rest of you. Too much violence. Too many people hating each other.
I’m adding my voice because I’m angry and I want things to change.
When I became a social worker, one of my major motivations was to do my small part to improve race relations. As a child of the South, I’ve always paid attention to racial conflicts and wanted to do whatever I could, in my own life, to work to help black and white folks get along.
Part of that work involved listening and putting my (white) self in the other person’s shoes. Living in my white neighborhood, with my white friends, with the legacy of my white ancestors before me, I may not have always understood things from a black perspective. So I listen and I learn and I work to understand where my black neighbors and fellow citizens are coming from. That is my job as a human being. That is all of our jobs as human beings and as Americans.
The shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were captured on video, which left us with many questions. We weren’t there but the situations shown on the videos were horrific to watch and frightening to see human beings shot and killed over what appeared to be small things…nothing, really. And if there is more to it…why haven’t we heard the “more?” Can’t someone say something to make this make sense? Because it doesn’t seem like they can. Which smells like injustice. Which makes people justifiably angry because they are not being heard. Especially when these incidents have been happening forever and only seem to be getting worse.
And now someone took it upon himself to murder white police officers. That only makes everything worse. More pain. More fatherless children. More hate. More anger. More. More. More hearts breaking and more divisions and more of a gulf between the races.
A man supposedly hanged himself in Piedmont Park and the FBI is looking into it. Some guy named Joe Walsh is tweeting about “the Real America”, meaning white America. Trump stokes the racial fires. What year is this, y’all? It can’t be 2016. It’s either a bad dream or we’ve time travelled to the 60s.
It’s a sad, sad day but I’m more motivated than ever to keep my focus on loving people and listening and learning. I’m going to keep on working on race relations in my daily life because I think we are better together. I don’t want to live in a white America. And I’m white. I love my black friends and we are all the real America together. And I stand with you and know that we all want the same things in life: peace, prosperity, health, happiness for ourselves and our children. Black people are not the enemy. White people are not the enemy. Hate is the enemy. Love is the answer. We are better than this.