The boiling rage and grief are intense.
I have attempted to write many times about Ferguson, Mike Brown, Eric Garner and the appalling racism and ignorance imbedded in our “justice” system. The words have not been flowing, they are choked up in my tears and also in a feeling of helplessness that I am coming to recognize. I have been silent, not because I don’t care, but because I do not know what to do or say.
And yet my silence is also indicative of my whiteness. I have the privilege to be silent because my immediate dignity, safety and life do not depend on speaking up about this insanity.
To consciously stare my own egotism in the face is disturbing. Truthfully, I could just have easily been you, not me. And what if “you” were a black man and that “you” were “me”?
And to be crystal clear, this is not a cliche white person spouting spiritual bypasses of “oneness” as a way to avoid feeling the discomfort of our differences. Each moment I take time to deeply see and honor the truth of how different human life and suffering can be, I get one notch closer to wholeheartedly bowing at the feet of every human life, regardless of our differences.
I am white, and yes, it matters. And, actually my human dignity does depend on speaking up about this insanity.
I do not know what it is like to wake up everyday and live in a world that discriminates against me because of the color of my skin. I do not know what it is like to birth, raise and love my children only to send them out into a world that could disregard, project upon, incarcerate or murder without reason.
I do not know and so I have been silent, paralyzed by a fear that I might say the wrong thing, be misinformed or offend someone.
But this morning, my silence offends me.
I am part of the human family, and yes, this matters too. The tears also stream down my face as I watch the images of precious human life get ripped from this planet, and as I imagine the irreparable loss and damage not only to the families and loved ones, but to all of us who are willing to feel the nauseating horrors of the world we live in.
I am white and I am here. I am in this conversation, and I will continue showing up to correct my own ignorance and abuse of privilege. Even if I’m fumbling with words, shaking with fear and blurry-eyed with tears, I will not be silent. You have my word.
Every life matters.
Deep respect for the outrage, demand and response pouring out in this descent with the holiest of love, creativity, power and nonviolence. I am in solidarity.
Keep going, keep showing up and I will too.
I know I can do more. And I will.