This post discusses current matters which some may find emotionally upsetting. Please use caution when reading — if you find yourself becoming upset or overly saddened, please don’t feel bad about visiting a happier blog. Or maybe find a friend to share and discuss it with before continuing. No matter who you are, please take care of yourselves, first.
I’ve been avoiding writing this.
Quis says this ain’t about the rest of us and he’s absolutely right but: I’m sickened.I’m horrified. And you should be too.
Nightmares -not the local news- early the morning of the 6th alerted me to events of the 5th. Followed by last night and again this morning as Twitter showed me more recent shootings.
America: let’s talk about race a minute. You see, boys and girls, I don’t actually know my exact race or culture and aside from an interest in genealogy, I’m relatively okay with that. [If it bothers you that I didn’t just identify myself as “pallid, snowy white Caucasian” please have a seat in the thinking chairs in the back. If you still cannot deal, simply press the defriender button to buzz the exit door open.] But here’s the thing, guys, unless you’ve taken a test, you likely don’t know your true culture mix, either. So I’m going to call shooting black people like it is:
- Senseless, mindless racism.
- Active suicide notes of a nation still at civil war with herself.
- Senseless, mindless, racist cruelty.
- Cries for help from those fearful of their job descriptions and their own ignorance.
- Senseless, mindless, racist, inhumanity.
- Double fiendism1.
- Shameful, senseless, mindless, heartless, racist, cruel, inhumane, double fiendism.
- Ignorant — and that’s being very generous.
Folks standing agape: Earlier I said I’d been avoiding this. Like you I was paralyzed by the question of “how do I respond?” The answer is simple. We speak up. We speak out. We tell our government, local and beyond that we do not appreciate such heinous treatment of our fellow human beings2. Racism is very real, very active, very alive and well. Our words will not always be heard, our opinions ignored, but our silence rings even more deadly. If you still need help, here’s a beautifully articulated message regarding white privilege, which you might find useful.
Blacks Anyone of any color: I didn’t shoot anybody; but as one individual who looks an awful lot like the wolves in sheepskin, I want to say that I’m deeply sorry for what my shade of sand has done to yours. Know that I see you. That I love you. Know that I understand this is so not enough. I recognize we’re in a country where nowhere is safe for you… A country you call home. Please know that I’m praying for you and your families; for your safety. Final points:
- I’ve seen a lot of self-care posts for y’all out there today. I’m going to piggy-back that here for easy reference if you need it.
- Do you. Take care of you.
Police forces: couple of things…
- Never stop teaching the Escalation of Force.
- We’re all human. We’re all going to make mistakes and there is NO WAY you can weed all the kinks out of your own force. I offer a little forgiveness there.
- Google search terms such as “police required to serve and protect” to better understand civilian fears.
- Please consider requiring rigorous testing in psychology and empathy before handing guns and badges to your officers. It would go a long way if they understood “fight or flight” and showed empathy for that very real conundrum, even as they must chase some individuals. Speaking as a person who’s dealt with anxiety, I gotta say feeling frozen or paralyzed isn’t promising for our continued relationship, either.
- Never stop enforcing the Escalation of Force.
- Be consistent. If you’re going to arrest drug abusers, please don’t ‘accidentally’ hire them if at all possible.
- How do body cams “fall off”? Could we research uniform button body cams and randomize them per uniform so no officer knows exactly which button is going to broadcast one’s actions?
- Enforce the Escalation of Force.
Guilty parties: You know who you are. Killing another human being changes us. I mourn for your lost innocence; I mourn for the you that was destroyed when you pulled that trigger. I grieve, for your ignorance created fears which twitched your trigger fingers. I leave you in God’s hands. It is His beloved creation you erased and only He can know the heart, the mind, the ultimate truth.
With my love, condolences, prayers, anger, faith…
1According to Merriam-Webster, a ‘fiend’ is “a very evil or cruel person” or “a person who is very enthusiastic about something”. I imagine double fiendism to be when a person is very enthusiastic about being very evil or cruel. Frankly, I’ve seen a lot of that lately. Truth hurts – #sorrynotsorry.
2According to Merriam-Webster, a ‘human being’ is “a person”. No race is specified.