I never do this online, but on July 7, 2016, I felt compelled to write...
I’ve been very silent today, as my emotions, like the emotions of so many others, have swung between anger, crying and fear. What is happening to black people, especially black men, is wrong, and if you are a person of conscience you have to call it out.
My husband and I have raised five children — two of them are strong, smart and capable black men. However, we live in a country where they are constantly the victims of other people’s suspicions. We shouldn’t have had to give them the “talk” about how to interact with the police — but we did. We shouldn’t have had to constantly harp on them about how they dressed and how they spoke, because people would make assumptions — but we did. We shouldn’t have had to be on the phone today, with family and friends commiserating and shaking our heads and asking each other, “Why?” But we did. And we weren’t alone. I daresay most black people in this country were doing the same thing.
I appreciate the support of my white friends — but I need you to understand that this is not a “black problem.” This is truly an American problem. We should not have to film the deaths of our husbands, brothers and friends for the majority to “believe” that there is a problem.
I’m going to continue to pray for our country — because I truly believe in the power of prayer. But I also believe in the power of work, and the Bible tells us that “faith without work is dead.” So what can I do — what can we all do? We can raise our voice—we can call our members of Congress and say that instead of a 50th hearing into Hillary Clinton’s emails, how about our elected officials call hearings on the problem with policing in the US, and what can be done to establish some best practices and real training for cops.
Let me be clear―I do not hate policeman. My husband was a cop for 10 years. I hate that the first reaction of too many of them is to shoot a black person first. Yesterday (July 6) in North Carolina, a 62-year-old white man fired a handgun during an altercation with a Wake County deputy after the man was seen pointing a shotgun at passing cars. The man, William Bruce Ray, was approached by a Deputy and pulled a handgun on him. The two wrestled and Ray even fired a shot during the incident. Ray however, was taken into custody and not physically harmed. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both had legal weapons, which they did not pull on the police, but they are both dead. You try explaining that one.
So, when we say #blacklivesmatter, please do not come at me with “all lives matter.” Of course, they do. If you would just listen, what we’re really saying is “black lives matter, too.” We matter just as much. We love our sons, our husbands our brothers just as much and we are tired of having to bury them because they reacted too quickly or too slowly. If you want to know what you can do—stand up and say something to those in power. If not—Then. Have. Several. Seats.