We are in the midst of a crisis in this country.

August 15, 2014 8 Comments

We are in the midst of a crisis in this country. When a split second decision by one person results in multiple wounds or death for a young man or young woman. Because he didn’t get off the sidewalk quickly enough? Because his music was too loud? Because she knocked on your door? No, these are not the reasons. All of these young people happen to be black. This is not a coincidence.

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Image credit: Dignidad Rebelde

We are in the midst of a crisis in this country. When we white people cannot connect the dots and see these incidents as patterns rather than isolated events. When we think that a black president means that racism is past tense and this is an equal opportunity nation. When police officers respond to a community’s upset at the death of a young man who did nothing wrong in riot gear.

We are in the midst of a crisis in this country. White brothers and sisters – we have so much learning, healing, and organizing to do. The haze of disillusionment and fear that many white Americans are living under is costing the lives of young black folks who do not deserve to die. Is this so different than the days of lynching and Jim Crow – when young black men had to fear for their lives if they looked at or said something (or didn’t) that white folks didn’t like? At the same time I do have hope in us and in you.

Are you trying to make sense of all this? Are you unsure about what I have said and what to make of the news stories? Do you feel paralyzed about what to do or how to respond to these tragedies? We need you, all of you, all of us, if we are going to build a future that doesn’t feel like a broken record and instead truly liberates us from our fears and from our ugly past.

 

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