My white friends, we don’t fully understand the pain of our black friends. We haven’t lived their pain. So, now is the time for empathy and listening. If we are quiet, there is a lot we can learn from our friends of color.
With that in mind, let me ask you:
- What would you do if you grew up in a system that worked against you, fearing authorities and the police in particular?
- What would you do if you raised children, and as a part of parenting them had to teach them what to do when they are pulled over for no reason?
- What would you do if a part of raising your son was explaining to him that he will be detained or arrested by the police at some point in his life, even if he didn’t do anything to deserve it?
- What would you do if you grew up in a country where you were regularly slandered and maligned for the color of your skin?
Now, here come the bigger questions.
- What would you do if people that look like you, that could be your friends or family, were regularly killed by the very people sworn to serve and protect?
- What would you do when you no longer feel safe in your own community?
- What would you do when you can’t go for a jog without worrying you might not come home?
- What would you do if most of the peaceful protests over your lifetime have been overlooked or dismissed by the very people that need to hear?
- And, what would you do, if in the midst of all of this, people keep missing the point, saying that all lives matter, and offering suggestions that completely miss the pain you have lived with your entire life?
What would you do?
Would you protest?
Would you riot?