I haven’t mustered up the perfect words to say surrounding the absolute disregard of black lives as human lives because social media isn’t always the right place to bring about the change we want to see. Many of us want action but there’s a difference between talking about it on social media and really bringing about the change in real life.
I’m married to such a wonderful man. A man who is a son, grandson, husband, father, brother, cousin, nephew and so much more to so many people. He’s a believer in Christ. He’s a successful business owner. He’s easy going and such a giver. He’s loving. He’s kind. Even if he wasn’t all these great things - his life still matters. As a black man in America - his life is worthy of being lived. The sad truth is that he is a black in America and his life is not valued no matter how good he may look on paper.
My son's life matters. My unborn daughters life matters.
Let me tell you a quick story about my husbands most recent encounter when being pulled over. I can tell it because I was there. Why husband was driving. We were on the way to our friends house in December of 2019. We had just gotten off of the highway in Houston city limits. We got pulled over. The police officer didn't pull up behind us but was angled in an odd position. He asked us to roll down our back window on the passenger side. I was so confused and my heart was racing because our baby was in the car and the officer already had his hand on his gun when he was asking this. I told him I was unable to open the window because we had a baby sunshade on the window he was asking us to roll down. He came around and asked us to roll down the window behind the drivers seat and immediately asked my husband to step out of the car. My immediate reaction was to say, "sir, we have a baby in the car!!". He finally looked in the backseat as he originally planned to and quickly apologized and allowed my husband to stay in the car and just asked for his license and let us off with a warning. What would have happened if I wasn't there or if I had not said anything? I don't even want to know. I understand he was doing his job but he was already so aggressive in his approach. That's not even a super scary story because I've seen my friends experience worse with my own eyes -handcuffed and face to the floor (bleeding from force) for "fitting a description" then just let go when nothing was found in the car. That is traumatizing to see in person but I'm sure its 134809998485 worse experiencing that. No apology. Nothing.
I’m not saying all of this to bring a divide between races (or between police officers and citizens) but rather to bring about a conversation and an alliance against racism. Some may think it’s difficult or taboo to talk about it but our black family members, friends, colleagues, students, neighbors and fellow citizens need us to speak up. I’ve spoken to some of my friends who are African American and what I’ve taken away is that their frustrations with the system but what's really grabbing their attention are their non-black friends are absolutely SILENT. People love black culture (music, fashion, celebrities, athletes, hair styles, etc) and love saying “I’m not racists. I have black friends” but in times like this are absolutely silent. There are no perfect words to say but acknowledging that there is a problem is a start.
To my family, friends, and colleagues who have to live through this every single day - I see you. I hear you. I stand with you. Let’s make a change!
How do we make that change? (these points are from an article given to me by a friend)
Actively participate in diversifying media (and your own media intake) to include black voices.
Teach our children about race.
Make black friends, make an effort to diversify your social spheres.
Stop making an anecdotal self-experience (I've been there too...) discount what we're learning about a black person's story/experience.
Start and encourage dialogues across difference.
Use your privilege (and your physical and monetary resources) to support Black people, issues, businesses, and projects.
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
I have also provided other resources on how we can all make a change below.