I am the grandchild of an officer killed in the line of duty. I have attended numerous events and memorials in my life where I have met other families that are enduring this loss. I have always had a sensitivity to police deaths.
I will tell my own truth and not assume that anyone else shares it. I find it easier to empathize with people that I can relate to. When I hear about horrible things happening, I am more deeply affected if I think it could happen to me or if it has happened to me. I tend to think it could happen to me if the victims look like me or have similar backgrounds. Truthfully, and shamefully, there have been moments in my life where victims of horrible tragedies were easier for me to compartmentalize and move on from if they didn’t look like me or have a similar background. I find it easier to find a reason that whatever happened to them couldn’t happen to me for one reason or another.
But my circle continues to expand. And, the more people I meet, the more I realize that we really are all one. And, it is killing me that we aren’t acting like it.
It is clear to so many that the narrative surrounding police is putting their lives in danger. I’ve seen so many people step up on their behalf. Stepping up to protect another is a beautiful thing. It’s what makes us respect police in the first place. Don’t stop.
But, what is bothering me is the lack of recognition by some, certainly not all, on how the narrative around black people, gay people, transgender people, Muslims, immigrants and other commonly rejected groups is putting their lives in danger. And, the silence by some on those matters. Or worse, the defense or support of their marginalization.
Truthfully, I don’t know why I keep speaking up. Because I actually care deeply what people think of me, and I care deeply about other people. All people. Like so, so much. And, reading people’s posts and responses to my own posts shatters me. I am terrified of the response this will bring or who I might lose from my life this time. Terrified. Heart beating out of my chest. Hands shaking terrified.
It’s just that I see so many #alllivesmatter hashtags, and I want to live in that world. And, I don’t think I can live in that world if I don’t speak up when people’s lives are at stake.
I support police. I support black lives matter. I support the glbt community. I support immigrants and refugees. I support all religions that teach love over exclusion. It kills me that this is somehow confrontational or controversial as it should go without saying. Until it does, I will just keep saying it.
BEFORE YOU GO
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General Election: Nov 3, 2020
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