This is a terrible year of violence against people of color. Does this year hold any more violent police encounters than in other years? It’s more likely that’s it’s simply my privilege that’s made me unaware of the pattern of police brutality against people of color. Maybe it’s more widely reported. Even so, that does not diminish the principle of injustice that is routinely acted upon people of of color. These names are the ones the news agencies focused on; there are more. Many more. And these are the names are people who’s lives were taken at the hands of police. There are probably lists upon lists of people of color who were treated with disproportionate force that did not end in death but certainly left injuries and trauma. I may not have ten names listed below, but there are more than ten people of color who have been effected by this police posture and activity. Many more.
Sandra Bland (so far this is being called a suicide (skeptical side-eye) but you can’t deny the unnecessary brutality during her arrest…for not signaling a turn while driving her car in a neighborhood.
So many others.
I grieve these lives lost.
I need to acknowledge my complicity in a system that discriminates against people of color, and I believe other people who are white should do the same. We need to seek out information and listen to the prophetic voices of those who tell us the truth of their experience, rather than ignoring it or minimizing it. Maybe it makes us feel uncomfortable or blamed or embarrassed; so what? That’s nothing compared to the fear, anger and despondency many people of color must feel when facing the prospect of going about their daily lives.
I may not know the best way to talk about these issues of race, but trying to bring them up in a respectful manner is a solid first step. That’s why I’m posting this today.
Looking for articles and a place to start educating yourself? Here are a couple: Washington Post’s article about fatal police shootings, Report from Amnesty International, Journalists Resource article, and this ProPublica article. It doesn’t take much to find information about this, and it’s all of our responsibility to be aware.