How can you see this and not be sick?
How can you watch the video and not weep openly with grief?
How can you hear the stories and continue to deny the reality?
How can you sit on your couch, watch your tv, play with your kids, eat your microwave dinner, stare at your phone, do your squats, pick your Snapchat filter…and continue to pretend that our country isn’t in crisis?
How can you be silent?
Does your life need to be in danger for you to feel the fear and outrage of others?
Can you not find sympathy, if empathy isn’t there?
Do you think your silence means nothing as those around you die in the street?
Are you incapable of understanding racism is still real? Do you think if you deny it, it will disappear?
Tell me, what’s the difference between a man being lynched and one being gunned down? Tell me which is worse, killing underneath a white hood and sheet or killing wearing blue and a badge of steel?
Why is it that when these things occur, we continue to talk about the dangerous lives of police and not the dangers of being non-white? Why do we immediately scream that there are good cops out there instead of understanding that the people hurting those good cops the most are the bad ones killing unjustly?
Why are we blaming the victims for the acts of the abusers? The killers? The rapists?
Our country will never be whole like this.
Our country will never recover like this.
Our country will never prosper like this.
For even if certain people prosper, we as a whole will fail. And those that prosper on the backs of the victims will reap the crops that they sow. They will live an eternity in despair, loneliness and emptiness. They may feel no pain now but they will.
And they may never know it.
They may never realize the fate they brought on themselves.
They may never understand what they have brought into their lives.
They may believe their hearts are full but until they can access their whole heart, pieces will lay empty and eventually, like all living things left to darkness and nothingness, will rot and die away.
Do not sacrifice your heart for your pride. The one pales infinitely more than the other.
Good people need to speak out.
Kind, caring people need to spread their love. For there are people who are feeling nothing but fear and pain and outrage who need to know that they’re not alone.
And we need to say we see reality.
This is not just one people’s fight.
This is not an area where we should say, “it’s none of our business.”
It is our business.
It’s the business of anyone with a heart, a soul and a conscience.
Yes, this is a race issue. But that doesn’t mean that only one race can fix this. How is that even possible when we are all involved?
Yes, #AllLivesMatter but missing the point on purpose is helping no one. Don’t be that person. Don’t be the person that takes someone’s pain and makes it a pithy retort. Don’t take someone else’s reality and warp it to fit your own, knowing full well that your realities are vastly different.
Don’t watch innocent people die and instead of crying with their loved ones, immediately start defending their killers.
These are things we’ve always heard about. When we lived in a world of oral history and games of telephone, we heard about it after the fact. But we don’t live there anymore. We live in a world of YouTube and Twitter, of Periscope and Facebook, of live streaming and digital uploads…and we’re seeing our history being made.
Please don’t sit still. Please don’t stay quiet. Please don’t watch and wait.
Please be scared of what will happen if good people do nothing. Please worry about what indifference does to us as a people. Please speak out. Please send love. Please tell those who are genuinely afraid that you see their pain. Please, tell them that they won’t be ignored anymore.
Be a voice that heals.