The last few days have been heartbreaking to me in a way I’m having a difficult time processing and expressing. I can’t imagine what my friends of color are feeling. I ache for your grief and your anger.
Seeing the president speak from the rose garden about being a “president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters,” minutes after flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas rained down on law-abiding citizens demonstrating across the street — all so he could parade himself over to a church and wave a bible in the air — it sickens me.
Hearing him speak of second amendment rights and military aggression with heavily armed soldiers to squelch the justified movement of a people in pain and desperate for change — it sickens me.
And not hearing what should have been said. The POTUS not addressing the injustice and violence and murders that led to these protests, this unrest. No acknowledgment of pain felt or wrongdoing dealt. What he didn’t say sickens me most of all.
And the same goes for some of my friends who have chosen to leave so much unsaid. The voices that have stayed silent during this pivotal moment in American history, my grief and shame is overwhelming.
I don’t get it. Staying “politically correct” in a time when the politics of status quo are anything but correct — it’s selfish and it’s sad.
The people who belligerently write “All Lives Matter” on posts infuriate me, but at least I know exactly where they stand. And so does the black community.
It’s the ones who say nothing — they’re the ones you wonder about. Are they ally or enemy? Those who say nothing aid the oppressor. So I guess that makes them enemy.
Silence smothers. It covers and conceals and squelches fire.
George Floyd’s “I Can’t Breathe” cry fell on his tormentor’s deaf ear. But it has become a rallying cry for the movement. Don’t smother that cry with silence.
Without oxygen, you die. Without oxygen, you also can’t speak. Be the oxygen this movement needs. Speak up.
Eric Garner and George Floyd’s and myriads of others’ voices were taken from them. Don’t let anyone — including yourself and any fear you feel — take yours. Use your voice. Stand up. Speak out.
If you love this country and all it stands for. If you believe in liberty and justice FOR ALL, rise up and rail against the injustice you see, you read, you hear, you feel.
You: Speak. For justice, for truth, for liberty. For all the battered, bruised, violated, murdered brothers and sisters of color.