Dear Mothers of Color and Mothers of Children of Color,
To start, I am a Midwestern white woman and I do not claim to know your story. Truly, I know this among so much else I do not know.
Whether you are my sister, my friend or a stranger, does it help to know I also cried when I read the transcription? That I "shared" Eric Garner's last words because, though hard to see, they must be seen, and does it help to know I feel powerless? Does it help to know I reeled from the reality of the system... again?
Does it help to know this is not the first time I have shed tears at injustice? That I have seen and fought, too, for the value of a life of one who looked like someone I love? Does it help to know that I hope the battle cry you take to the streets makes change? That I want change, too. That I believe that "the streets" will be safe only when everyone is safe?
Do you know how often I have wanted to comment, to share, to speak up, and yet I feel I cannot, as my words may not be believed, will be seen hollow, will fall short? Does it matter that I am angry for Marissa Alexander and her family? For all of the Ferguson community? For you?
Do you know I don't know what to do?
When someone we love is robbed from us, it feels like the world should stop. Actually, it does. For a moment. And we look around us, jealous that others are still living, working and being alive. Does it help that I know how this feels? Does it help that I want to take this pain from you? Because I would if I could.
I don't know if there are more of "us" than there are of "them." I do know that the shape of our eyes, the color of our skin, or the way we walk does not ever make a life less worthy. I know that being "us" comes from within and we may never know how many of "us" there are, or can be.
Every mother who has cried over injustice, loss, fear and anger, all of our tears look the same. I wish it could be a comfort to know that I, and many other mothers who look like me, are crying with you.