What Can I Do?

 

I’ve been watching for awhile now. Quietly observing. Taking it all in. The loud voices, the ones that can’t speak, and the ones that can no longer speak. I’ve watched and tried to make sense of it all. I’ve turned and looked the other way hoping it would all just go away.

But it hasn’t and it won’t. I go to my journal sometimes when I can’t make sense of the world. This is my online journal. This is an inside view to the thoughts and ramblings that go on inside of my head. They don’t always make sense. They are a work in progress as I work to process what I am seeing and feeling. This is not going to be politically correct and I’m sure someone will be offended. But I can’t stay silent any longer. I don’t know what to say, so I’ll write it all down and look at it later, again and again.

I have shut the TV off years ago, too much to take in. I turn off videos I feel will be a trigger for me. I watched a video yesterday that I can’t get out of my head and it’s one of dozens and the signs of it stopping are just not there the way they should be.

A man was shot and killed while he had his back turned to officers, and his arms raised high against his car. A.MAN.WAS.KILLED

I am repulsed beyond measure. Like when maggots that infest a deep wound while the fallen is gasping for his last breath; eating away at the flesh furiously and with no apologies. The smell. The sight. Pungent, putrid, repugnant, revolting. I want to look away as I have many times in the past. I wasn’t sure if I could handle the thought of what was happening. I was protecting myself.

I was wrong.

It’s not about me.

My black friends and family can’t look away. They can’t get away. They can’t turn it off, or turn it down, or tune it out. No one is protecting them, or their children.

Then a man quietly and peacefully protests in a public way. A constitutional right that many have used in the past to cause awareness and action where seemingly none is present.

The country erupts. It goes mad. Once again oppressing the already oppressed. Once again invalidating, turning their heads (our heads).

If you are upset about a peaceful protest then I can only imagine how upset it must make you to see innocent lives taken. Men, women AND children’s lives TAKEN from them. To see that the country represented by the flag and honored in the Star Spangled Banner, that the freedoms, rights, and liberties that these things represent are being denied to a large part of this country’s population must utterly appall you. Certainly things are not as important as people, right? Surely these symbols represent every person, right? The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, yes!?

Me too.

I’ve never been a person to sit by and watch as injustice is being done. On this one though, I was stumped. What can I do? What should I do? Until now. Next time you see me, and the national anthem is being played please take a knee with me. I’ll wrap my arm around you, I’ll hold your hand. We can do this together. In solidarity. It may not stop the killings but maybe it will bring awareness. Maybe enough people will be brave enough and fed up enough to take a stand, by taking a knee. I am an ally. I can’t change it alone. And maybe my actions aren’t the right ones, maybe it won’t matter. But I want my black friends and family to know that I have my eyes fully open now. I see you. I hear you.

This is not to dishonor the men and women in armed forces that have fought and sometimes died. Quite the opposite. It is to try to make a change so that their efforts and lives are not and were not lost in vain. It is to bring awareness to a group that is living now without their human and essential rights, and freedoms.

This isn’t over, but this is where I am at this moment. These are my thoughts in this second of this day. I get to breathe, and go forward with out fear. I can’t say the same is true for everyone in this country and that is not okay.