I am exhausted. I am drained.
I cannot imagine what the families and loved ones of those gone are enduring. What kind of world am I raising my children in?
Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed lately has become burdensome. Don’t get me wrong. I love politics and a good debate (I have my degree in Political Science); however, I find myself too tired to entertain most posts. Every single person has an opinion (it feels like it anyway) and is letting it be known (myself included). The trouble I guess I am having is the tone of this conversation. I do not believe this should be politicized. On one hand it is very simple: several people died last week because another made a decision. The facts need to be examined and not be exploited. We should come together and work on a solution for everyone (which, of course, is the more complicated aspect of this issue).
Even here in the Seacoast you can see the divide. Why do people react as though it’s us versus them? This mentality is not limited to this topic; unfortunately, its has seeped into many areas. Divisions need to be mended.
“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Is this our fate? Sadly, last week reiterated that we are going in this direction. Something must change for the better.
Growing up I never had law enforcement officers in my family. I had a bit of a lead foot and when I was 15-years-old (yes, I only had a permit) I was pulled over for the first time, and it wouldn’t be my last. I lost my license twice before I turned 18! I had a lot to learn and I reacted rudely each time it happened. Now that I am older, I can see it more clearly. They were trying to keep me and every other unfortunate soul on the road safe. Oh, wait! Did I mention that I have a sister and brother-in-law in law enforcement? Now that I know what their reality is like, I have a very different perspective.
I also have a niece and nephew that have a black father and white mother (my cousin’s children, but she is like a sister). How confusing do you think this is for them? They are literally in the middle of this national conversation. What should their mother and father say to them?
I do not have all the answers. I have many thoughts and opinions like so many do. What I do know is that labels can divide people. Labels can marginalize people. Labels can confine people. However, I do recognize that semantics are very powerful and important. Our words reveal our mindset and our mindset is what drives our climate, our culture, our conversation.
All of us have blood running through our veins and we breathe the same air. I believe when we realize that everyone’s life matters, only then will we begin to heal as a Nation. We need to have an honest conversation about race, a community’s perception of law enforcement, and how law enforcement interacts with its people. We need to have this discussion together. Only when we become inclusive will we truly find a meaningful way to move forward in peace.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Let’s us move forward together and love each other. Stop blaming the person foreign to you but reach out with a loving hand. Will we be brothers and sisters to each other or will we be fools? What do you think MLK would say we are teaching our children?