My heart is breaking. My heart is breaking for the families of the Dallas officers, for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, for my friends raising black children in these scary times, for the officers that say goodbye to their families not knowing if they will return, for my daughter who will one day lose the innocence of believing that the world is always beautiful and magical. My heart is breaking for the country that I love but is so badly broken.
I am fortunate to have a job that allows me to work with people of all races, ages, religions, and sexual orientation. Because of this I can tell you that #blacklivesmatter is necessary. Living only surrounded by white privilege (not talking about the type of privilege afforded by wealth) it can be hard to truly understand the meaning of this movement. Yes, of course all lives matter. That is a no-brainer. However there is still an unacceptable amount of disparity and profiling towards black people. I have had the experience of being the only person of my race at events and gatherings. I have felt what it’s like to wonder if someone is making an assumption about me based on my race and not for who I am. I have felt this way a handful of times, however I have black friends and colleagues that have felt this way on a regular basis.
I have family and friends in law enforcement. I cannot imagine the burden that is on their shoulders day to day. I am so incredibly thankful that there are people willing to put their lives on the line for our safety. I see cops policing the city of Wilmington all the time. The child care providers that I work with in some of the toughest neighborhoods of the city are grateful for the police presence and many of them have wonderful relationships with them. They are working hard to keep the people of this city safe and as someone who works in these neighborhoods I am also grateful.
We do not live in a world that is colorblind; nor should we want to. We need to talk about our differences. We need to have conversations about race. This is the ONLY way we will understand each other. Standing up for our brothers and sisters of color and standing behind the law enforcement that protects and serves us does not have to be mutually exclusive. We can do better…we HAVE to.