I've thought long and hard about writing this post, and I've decided that anything that demands this much of my time in contemplation also demands that I not remain silent. A2-D2 and I decided long ago, in a rather unspoken fashion, that EG would stay away from political posts. We didn't want to offend or alienate any of our readers. In light of recent shootings (of both blacks and police), I could no longer remain silent.
I started seeing those posts on social media that I'm sure we've all seen. There was this dichotomy from don't trust cops to love everyone and all of the varied levels of support and distrust in between. I didn't know how to weigh in because here's some of my personal history:
- I have numerous family members currently serving and retired from local law enforcement
- I grew up like a stereotypical character from The Help who grew up with a black maid that doubled as a nanny
- Because of my nanny, I was often the one white face in government housing when I would play with her grandkids
- I drew my nanny into my family picture in preschool and didn't realize it was different until other kids teased me for having a black family member
- I dated a brilliant (but shy) black guy for about 72 hours before I was told it wasn't allowed because our cultural backgrounds were too different
There are so many other examples in my life where I was taught that every race was equal and then also told that differences were scary or not to be trusted. I don't think the instances of teaching distrust were intentional, I think they came from a group of people who grew up during segregation. Though they knew it wasn't right, there were cultural and home pressure to see different as a threat.
So, how could I possibly begin to weigh in? I decided to remain silent. No voice was better than an accidental offense, right? Wrong. I started looking around me at my black friends who are scared daily and who face a struggle each day because of the color of their skin which I will never understand. I also see my friends who have dedicated their life to service and protection of their community who now distrust the community they have sworn to protect. I'm not seeing either side win or gain - I'm just seeing loss.
It would be so easy to just say "love everyone", but it isn't that simple. Here's what I see, I see a group of people frustrated to the point of breaking and a second group who want to serve and protect but (because of a few bad eggs) are on heightened alert for their own safety. I think we need to reiterate that both sides are being judged (in total) based on the actions of a few outliers.
This post has become lengthier than I intended, but let me close with this: I hope Amelia never understands these issues and ends up asking me and The Captain about "where we were when..." like I used to have to do in school about the Great Depression. What I'd also like to clarify (because I had to look this up too) is that there is an actual Black Lives Matter movement. This post does not address their causes nor is it intending too. I simply wanted to raise my voice to friends on both sides of the charged issue to say that I love you, period.