I'm heartbroken, yet feel helpless. Angry, yet unsure where to point that anger. Two mornings in a row I've found myself (like many in our country) grappling with the senseless deaths of African-American men. For anyone reading thinking this is an anti-police rant, it is not. I value our officers. I have had family members that serve in that capacity. There is good and bad in every group and I've always said that (black, white, purple, gay, straight - we all have bad eggs).
But one can't see these senseless deaths and not believe there is an epidemic occurring. The rules simply do not apply if you are a black man living in America and as a white man who cannot comprehend that at all, it infuriates me. I have friends tell me they have schooled their own children when stopped by police exactly how to respond, where to keep their hands on the wheel, etc. (It feels no different from the past where black men where told to keep their eyes down and not look "the white man" in the eye.) And time and time again, the perpetrator of these actions get off without any justice for the slain causing rightful outrage. We should be outraged! This simply isn't right. And think about it, we are only seeing the few caught on camera...this happens more times than we even know or is even reported.
Try and imagine what it must be like to live in that constant fear. To be the 4 year old girl in the back seat of Philandro Castile's car watching as 4 to 5 bullets are shot at him. To be Alton Sterling selling CDs and ending up on the ground filled with bullets. The list could go on and on...those are just the two names we know this week. You can't imagine it, because it's not part of your world. But it's part of ALL of our world. It's happening to our people.
There is outrage over mass shootings, suicide bombings and there should be outrage as one by one our fellow Americans are being picked off due to trigger happy officers. I read that Philandro Castile's sister said it's like modern day lynching instead of getting hung from a tree, blacks are being killed on camera. This is not acceptable and something must be done...but what? Who steps up and takes control? People seem to get mad at the BlackLivesMatter movement or when they see a black minister leading a protest on TV. What do you believe should happen?
A black man is killed and there is a rush to find a criminal record to play out across the media (as if that justifies the actions of a cop, who, btw, would not know that history when pulling them over). A white male rapist gets a slap on the wrist and his accolades are shared in the media. The NRA believes people have a right to carry a gun, yet if you're a black man - you don't get that right. An officer will shoot first and ask questions later (while with a white man they will talk him down to put the gun away).
None of it makes sense. I am sick over it. I hate the division in our country and it just grows more and more because however you look at it - racism is alive and well in America and it's a horrible, ugly, stain on our country.