This week has been emotionally exhausting. I feel the collective sigh of the world. I'm reminded of my staggering privilege, as a white person. For the million reasons I can find to worry about my child, I will never have to fear that she will be gunned down in the street, by the very people who are meant to protect her. I won't have to worry that she will be hated for the very fact of her existence.
My heart, more than anywhere else, is with mothers. Mothers who have lost, and mothers who have everything to fear.
Delrawn Small. Alan Sterling. Philandro Castile. Dylan Noble. Essence Bowman. Stephanie Hicks. Goddess Diamond. Dallas. Bombings in Iraq, Baghdad, and Saudi Arabia. All of this in the wake of Orlando. The tragedy is overwhelming.
I struggle to know what to do or say. As a Canadian, I feel even farther from the issue; Canadians tend to think we're perfect when it comes to racism, when in fact, it's just the opposite. It enrages me when I hear Canadians brag about how wonderful we are compared to Americans, blatantly ignorant of the fact that our Indigenous incarceration rate is 10 times that of the non-Indigenous population. Ignorant of the still-lingering effects of the horrors inflicted by residential schools. In both my jobs (not to mention my day-to-day life) I witness a stomach-churning amount of casual racism from the public. I want to talk about all this, but I also don't want to derail the conversation at hand.
I've had to unfriend many people on Facebook over the past couple days. Each time, I debate with myself: Do I say something? Is it worth getting in an argument? I detest confrontation; I fear this makes me a bad ally. Each time, I quietly hit the "unfriend" button, doubting they'll ever notice, or know why.
To my white friends: If you find yourself getting defensive in the face of the Black Lives Matter movement, I ask you to take a moment with yourself, and ask yourself why. Why is it possible for a white person to shoot up a movie theatre, or blow up a building, or kill dozens of young children, fucking babies, why is it possible for them to be taken safely into police custody? Why is it not possible, why is it considered a danger, to apprehend a black person who is complying with your wishes? Why is it necessary to hold a man down on the ground and execute him, when he is already fully under your control? Why are black women able to die under mysterious circumstances in police custody without the media even noticing?
Our idea of justice is supposed to include due process. Someone who murders 20 people in cold blood is still entitled to a fair trial. I am utterly disgusted by attempts to disparage these men and women based on so-called "criminal pasts," which seem to amount to nothing but a desperate grasping at straws.
I saw one post commending police for protecting Black Lives Matter protestors during the Dallas shootings. There they were, protecting the very people who were there to protest them.
Think about what you're saying. Why do police officers deserve to be commended for doing their jobs? They are there to serve and protect, without bias or discrimination. Black Lives Matter protestors don't want police officers to be murdered. The loss of the Dallas police officers is another utter tragedy. Sadly, this shooting will be used against the vast majority who only wish to engage in peaceful protest of a very real, deadly injustice.
If you haven't already, I ask you not to watch videos of people of colour being murdered. Their constant repetition on every possible media platform only serves to desensitize us to these brutalities.
I haven't said anything here that hasn't already been said by those more capable. I encourage you to follow the link below.