A black quarterback kneels during the national anthem. He states his reason. He is clear. And the political world erupts, making it about disrespect for the flag and not loving this country.
Protest marches erupt and there are chants of “Black Lives Matter” and the white world gets offended and shouts back “Blue lives matter!” or… worse… “All lives matter.”
Protest erupts in a state capital with armed white men blocking the governor’s office… they are expressing their freedom to assemble. Protest erupts on the streets of Minneapolis to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer… tear gas is deployed.
Dear friends… we are being clueless and we desperately need to quit being clueless. If that is still hard to grasp, please understand what has happened this year alone to highlight the brutality and prosecutorial negligence brought on by our system that we, as whites, like to call “justice.”
Ahmaud Arbery was run down and then shot by three white men in trucks because they deemed themselves citizen cops. If a video of the shooting had not been leaked, those men would still be out and free. Two prosecutors passed on the case before the state of Georgia was forced to step in.
Breonna Taylor was shot in her own home by police because they got the address wrong while executing a warrant.
George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis cop on video while the man begged for a chance to breathe.
And we have a problem with a pro quarterback kneeling to have his “silent say” on the matter… and we want to shout down “Black Lives Matter” with “BLUE LIVES MATTER” because… what? We’re uncomfortable?
Dear friends… it is time to stay uncomfortable. It is time to LISTEN to what is actually being said.
It is time to grieve and lament over our lack of understanding. It is time to grieve over our silence.
Whatever we feel from three instances of injustice… is nothing compared to the burden my friends of color bear day in and day out.
I interviewed author and activist Marlena Graves and professor and pastor Dennis Edwards about the Ahmaud Arbery murder and racism a few days back (go HERE for audio and video links.) Dennis said something that haunts me: “Why does my being a black man frighten you? What about my skin color is so threatening?”
Get uncomfortable. Stay uncomfortable. Grieve with your friends of color. ACT with your friends of color.