I have written this so many times in my head.
I will not do justice to what I feel I should say… what I feel I have the responsibility to say after another black man was killed at the hands of police. He was unarmed. He was not resisting. He was not a danger to them.
I thought I would just re-share my post from August of 2017 describing white privilege. I had written that as neo-nazi white supremacists marched through Charlottesville.
Then, a friend (who I mention later) shared a post with me. It is Dondre T. Whitfield talking about what is going on in the nation after a police officer murdered George Floyd. I felt inadequate with the above blog.
He answers the question, “What, as a white person, should I say?” He says we should say: “We need to fix this.”
We need to fix this.
One of my best friend’s in the world set my husband and me up. He introduced Jason to a woman… me… who was not interested in meeting someone that night because he knew. He knew there was a chance I would find love. He wanted so badly for me to find the one… to find someone who would love me and be by my side. He wanted it because he cared enough about me to want me to be happy. He was also there for so many low moments in my life. He always supported me (and 100s of others who know him) with love and WITHOUT judgement. I owe so much of my happiness to his kindness.
Another friend I know I see every day I’m inside my kids’ school. He always has that grin on his face that tells you he is up to something that is going to make you laugh. He shows love and support to all the middle school kids… every kid of every race. He is thoughtful. He wants to hear what you have to say about anything… even if he disagrees… because he wants to understand you. I have never seen him look mad, even when those middle school kids are testing him. He is calm and sweet and smart.
I know this other guy who will go out to eat with friends and order a salad. Then, he will wait for all of us to finish eating to ask, “You gonna eat that?”. His part of the bill is always way less, but he has probably eaten the most food. He is the first to tease you about something he has been teasing you about for decades. He is also the first to be there for you if you say you need him. He has traveled the entire world now and is back home. He went home, even though he has seen better places than where he lives… because he loves his family and friends.
I have a friend, taller than I can usually crook my head up to see. He is that friend everyone should have, but Jason and I are lucky to call him ours. He is pure joy. I kid you not. I dare anyone to try to be in a bad mood around him. It isn’t possible. I’ve been in one and he came around and took it away instantly. Every year, he sends me a text on Mother’s Day and another on my birthday. I have not seen his face in about 6 years. I have only heard his voice a couple of times. Yet, twice a year, he sends me a text. The love that pours out of that man is unbelievable.
I know a woman who faces tough challenges as a mom. Every day. Yet, every time I see her, she has a smile. She faces challenges many of my friends will never know. However, she wears a smile and gives her time to others. She is one of those friends who pop into your life every once in a while, to make sure you’re good. She has a quiet grace about her. I aspire to handle life the way she does.
There is this other woman we all call Mama. All. Of. Us. We are her children. She owns us and she would protect us to the very end. Don’t get me wrong… she is hard on us all. She expects excellence and kindness coming from us. She does not have time for foolishness. She is crass and loud. She is equally loving and caring. When you are in her world, you are hers and she will take care of you. Sometimes when she tells me her “son” or “daughter” or “nephew” or “niece” or “brother” or “sister” did something… I ask, “Your blood or one of us.” She says there is not much difference.
Some of these are black people and some are white police officers.
I am angry as hell about what happened to George Floyd, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland… the list is outrageously long. I am mad at the police officers who did it. They deserve the maximum punishment. I want the system that has supported them brought down. Please understand, I do not want police departments brought down. I want the part of those departments that protect their own at all costs… even the cost of a human life… to be brought down. I want them revamped. I want officers retrained. No knee should push down on a person’s neck if you are sworn to protect and serve.
I once said, defeated and tired, that I don’t know what I can do as a white woman to fix this. I don’t want to put a white washed version of the story of black America out there. I don’t want to be the one to drive through Starbucks, wearing leggings and lip gloss and act like I can’t do anything. I also don’t want to do the wrong thing.
A friend of mine said: Change it from the inside. Talk. Share. Shoot down stereotypes. Raise your daughters to respect people of all colors… to respect human life. Be kind.
In this blog, I wanted to talk about police officers I know to be good people because I believe officers like them can help bring this change… from the inside…. like my friend said.
I wanted to talk about just some of the black people in my life that I love. I want to honor who they are and highlight them in a discussion that calls for empathy, kindness and listening to those affected the most.
I want to show humanity.
I want to fix this.