I am a white woman married to a black man.
I do have a fear of black men… who are a little rough around the edges, walking with a purposeful limp, long shirts and low pants. I also have a fear of white men with the same description. I watch my speed and my signals when there’s a cop driving behind me. They could give me a ticket, put me in jail, and they have a gun. I fear scary things. Period. I’m pretty sure both types want to be feared. As much as I ‘fear’ someone that looks a certain way, I now fear the afraid more. We all have fear, we fear those we do not know, and things we do not understand. It’s what we are letting that fear do to us that really matters.
I can’t fix this, I wish I could. I wish I could have a dream and stand for something publicly that would actually contribute to the ending of hate. I can’t comfort the families who have lost a man this week. I can’t keep my husband and kids home forever in hopes of protecting them. I can’t even say that everything is going to be ok, because quite honestly, it most definitely is not going to be ok. This world is broken, it has been for a long time. The fixing of it could possibly take the ending of it.
I can say I’m sorry to Alton Sterling’s and Philandro Castile’s families. I am so sorry. There were also 5 white cops murdered in response. How does this fix Alton’s and Philandro’s deaths? How does this help anything? It doesn’t. It doesn’t even come close. It doesn’t bring them back or allow their children one more hug or one more kiss. One more chance to hear “I love you” from their dads! It doesn’t make the cops that shot the guns, pay. IT DOESN’T DO ANY GOOD!!! It only perpetuates hate, fear, and more killing.
It is obvious that there is a lack of Love in the world.
Please, if you are letting this fear turn to hate, stop! Don’t do it. I’m not asking you to put yourself in their shoes or try to see it from their perspective but we can not throw every cop in to a box, just like we can’t throw every black man into one. We can’t weigh stereotypes and majorities. They can not contain everyone. Therefore we cannot react in an all inclusive way.
We can try to realize that racism is real. Hate is real. Neither one will ever disappear for good. Don’t be so naive to think that we can fix either one. There is more to racism than just color. There is racism against women/men, straight/homosexual, big/small, old/young, tattooed/not, etc. As long as there is differences in us there is racism, because there will always be people who fear the differences. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want that last statement to be true but it is. It just is.
Do you know when my kid learned about racism? Martin Luther King Jr. day in Kindergarten. Racism is continuing through ignorance. Have you ever thought that some how in teaching kids about it we are teaching kids to do it? I don’t want to take black history out of school, I want to frame it differently to help kids choose love not hatred. To fight against racism not fall into it.
I know that new fear has developed inside of me just this week. In response I will teach my kids to see differences but not to fear them, to love and to understand, and to fight for equality.
I know that I would give my white life for his black life, and he would give his for mine. However, we will pray everyday it never comes to that. We choose to see color for the beauty that it is, we choose to see differences and we also choose Love.