Friday, July 8, 2016

Let's Talk About It


 
I woke up angsty this morning.  My heart heavy and my eyelids sore from the crying I did yesterday.  This week has been an onslaught of negative news.  We've been shovel fed loads of weight about police brutality regarding Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.  Then, as if we weren't fragile enough, last night we got the news about the shootings on the police force in Dallas. 
You guys, none of this okay. This place, this world, is not okay.
And I sometimes wonder if all of this news is designed to make sure we feel isolated.  Backed into a corner.  Alone.
I'm not saying we don't need to know.  I think we do. 
 
It is good to know about the issues between the black community and the police.  It is good to know what someone, like you or not, experiences on a daily basis.  It is good to consider what your feelings might be if the same thing happened to you.  It is good to imagine yourself in someone else's shoes.  It is good to understand the depth of horror you might feel when you realize the people you would call to aid you in a moment of panic are the exact people who put you there in the first place.  It is good to see that.  It is good to understand that.  It is good to help end that feeling across a community.
Black lives absolutely do matter.
 
With the same breath I can say it's good to know what police officers experience on a daily basis.  It is good to know the stress they encounter as they enter into dangerous situations.   It is good to imagine yourself responding to the calls they get on the regular.  It is good to understand the depth of horror you might feel as you watch your best friend on the force go down for a crime he did not commit, but paid for because someone else wearing the uniform helped ignite that flame.  It is good to see that.  It is good to understand that.  It is good to support a team of people who work hard to protect. 
Blue lives absolutely do matter.
 
And so here we are again.  Here we are sitting with the both/and.  Because both are right.  Both are noble.  Both are worthwhile.  I think the upmost problem is that quite a lot of us don't want to sit with the tension of the both/and.  We don't want both to be right.  We want a side.  We want to take a stand, and we want anyone else standing on the other side to pay.  We want those monsters over there to recognize us, the moral giants, for our superiority and strength.  Thanks to a lot of things in this culture, we feel justified in this ludicrous behavior.  So many of us are not willing to imagine what it is to be someone else, because we are so upset and disturbed by our own souls.  We cannot begin to be okay with someone else because we cannot begin to be okay with ourselves.  We are so content to gobble up the news and spew hate because that makes us feel like we are good for a moment.
Friends, this is not okay.
We have to get to a point where the enemy is not someone else.  We have to begin to understand that the enemy is the work we have left to do to understand who we are at our very core.  We have to begin to understand that someone else's suffering is a moment for understanding and connection between us.  We have to begin to see people on the other side as people and not the monsters we create in our minds.  We have to begin to put our bias on the shelf in order to actually listen to the people talking to us.  Because we all have work to do.  We all have a battle of good and evil clanging inside of us.  We all need one another.  That is the only way we make it out of this incredibly shitty situation we've got going on here.
We have to remember we are in this together.

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