Saturday, July 9, 2016

And Again. . .

48 hours and 2 more black men murdered.  I am probably the most positive person on the planet.  "Sail your ship with positivity" has been laughingly declared by my family to be my personal motto.  But I have no positivity tonight.  I have anger. I have fear.  I have an overwhelming sense of helplessness.

The repeated unwarranted killing of people of color keeps replaying like some bizarre twisted version of that old movie Ground Hog Day.  And I don't know what to do.  I don't know what to do to keep my children safe.  I literally don't go to sleep till I know Rob is home from work.  I have turned this into my reading time and I do enjoy that. But keeping things honest?  I am worried that something would happen and i would not know till there was a knock on the door.  I don't want to miss a call, a text, a chance to try and help if the need arose.

I worry that my kids, despite my oft repeated dictates of what to do if an officer stops, will push the envelope.  They are good kids. But they are kids.  At Rob's age, despite all my comments to the contrary, he is sure he is immortal.  I was his age.  I was once immortal too.  But I am white.  And while I have faced discrimination in regards to my gender or sexual identity, I have not been targeted the way people of color are.  I don't have to worry about DWB.

In a rather shocking wake up call I recently watched a video to share to my son's wall on how to make it home alive if a POC is pulled over by the police.  One of the tips?  Keep your license and registration on the dash or the visor or the cup holder.  Reaching for a wallet can be interpreted as reaching for a weapon.  In my white privilege world,I can keep those two items where ever I choose as long as I can reach them from the drivers seat of my vehicle.  My questions to police officers when I am pulled over are answered with courtesy as long as I ask with courtesy.  (disclaimer:  I received my first moving violation in 25 years because I got wildly confused at a round about over Memorial Day weekend.)  I honestly had to ask the officer what I did wrong as I knew speed was not a factor.

Will the video save his life?  I have no idea.  All I can do is try and that feels so much like tilting at windmills these days.

I am frightened by the fact that I can't come up with an action plan.   This is so systemic and so big, I can't figure out what to do to help change to come about. I am not a stick my head in the sand kind of gal.  But Facebook meme's are woefully inadequate.  Roll calls of the killed scroll through my feeds. I worry that someday one of my kids, or one of my extended family will be on the internet with a "Say their name, don't forget" tag.    But the pictures, the stories, most woefully the same,  somehow this is not scrolling through the minds and hearts of people who do have the power.

I was brought up to respect officers of the law.  And I know many officers in the city I live and work in.  I like them. I respect them.  But I look at them and wonder what they will see if my son walking home from work at midnight.  I am tired of dash cams going silent, body cams mysteriously loosening and not filming.  I am tired of  reading the dirt that gets thrown into the fray after every shooting.  Rap sheets from years past, as if prior mistakes justify death today.

I actually don't even know how to finish this post, that's how saddened and fearful my spirit is at this moment.

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