I've sat down several times to write a blog about police brutality and the current state of systemic and overall racism. The problem I have is.. I don't know where to start.
My first thought is, how is it not as obvious to everyone as it is to those of us who know. Listening to the testimonies in the case of George Floyd I wonder how the defense attorney is even able to perform his job. I read some of the comments and posts online in defense of the officer who murdered George Floyd and I wonder are those people even human. I wonder a lot.. but that mental wandering never seems to find a solid destination.
I was fortunate to be a guest speaker at a protest in 2020 on UNC Chapel Hill's campus. I remember looking out into the crowd and seeing over a thousand people who, I was shocked to see, the majority were white. I remember looking into all the TV cameras and reading the signs that people were holding up and I really thought for a moment, we have finally done it! We have finally opened up the eyes of people who don't face our reality and couldn't understand it for all these years. From there I participated in several other marches and protests and I saw the crowds grow larger and the amount of white people joining grew substantially each time. I thought to myself even more.. wow, we finally got it!
Some of those protests were over a year ago and since then there has been more violence between police and civilians, specifically blacks and other minorities. It seems as if nothing has changed. I understand how discouraging that sounds and I'm sure people can get technical and explain certain changes that are taking place but.. just a few days ago another young black man was shot and killed at the hands of police, on camera, people are protesting, the officer gave a bull crap excuse, and will likely be slapped on the wrist for it. Nothing that needs to change has changed.
To be clear, I am not anti-police. In my mentoring within the school system there are several school resource officers that are white and who have assisted me in saving teenage lives, specifically blacks and other minorities. I've even had police officers help me in traffic stops and other minor situations however, I've also seen the opposite. I heard one of my co-workers, who is a bit older than I am, explain the times when police officers worked in the neighborhoods in which they resided in or had deeper connections with and how because of that, their policing efforts yielded better results and ultimately safer communities.
I believe in the phrase "begin with the end in mind".. So typically when I start writing a blog or a song, I know where I want it to end up. Unfortunately, this story is to be continued and has no end in sight. We want racism to end! We want the lack of accountably to end! We want the double standards on how police treat white Americans to end! We want the justifications of a human beings being murdered for no good reason to end! We want it all to end! But in reality we have to wonder if it ever will.
The seeds of racism have been planted deep and are well harvested. The structure is too big to destroy and rebuild and also requires so many repairs, that we don't know where to start.
Where should I start?