I spoke with a friend yesterday.
And even though we're both white, the police had
never been something that was on my mind because--
Well, everything was okay.
But he spoke with me about the police and how
one day he decided to work on taxes at Starbucks and
he was escorted off the road by a police truck and a
"License and Registration, please."
"Was I speeding, officer?"
And with a scoff and a glare he looked at him and said
I saw you right there, you were going 75 in a 40, sir.
He had done nothing wrong.
He said, "You were weaving in and out,
you were speeding all the way down the street
and let's not forget you're not buckled into your seat."
An exchange of words followed
and even though he knew he did nothing wrong
he still went with it all along because
he broke the law, as far as a Judge would have known.
Now, mind you, I'm living in a small white town with
white folks, white community, an occasional black friend around
and until that moment, that moment where I actually met somebody
that had been the victim of crooked police-brutality --
I didn't believe it.
Now, there's so many reasons I believe America is failing.
The media being one of them. Tall-tales that
make you believe that everybody else is
in the wrong. But it's so much more than your favorite news hailing to your
precious views that keep you in your comfort zone.
See, black lives matter. But blue lives do, too.
And for some reason it's in our heads that we can't support both
until we're standing at their bedside holding onto hope that
They can still speak to you.
I believe what's wrong with America is that we're just comfortable,
and that when that's challenged we're too quick to make their heads roll
and when TIME announces the 2016 person of the year you're uncomfortable.
But-- we're all uncomfortable.
I'm uncomfortable with the way the media takes control and
shows you things you didn't want to know
like a black man shooting a black man in the head on facebook live.
Or like a 12 year old white girl hanging herself because she had been abused
all her life.
Don't get me wrong, they're things that need to be brought to the light just like
a syrian woman losing her sight because she didn't conform to the ways of life
and now even in the day-- it's her night.
Yeah, there's truth to all of this.
But maybe if we had coped with the discomfort
of the hope-less then we could have reached out and
opened our doors.
We could have opened our borders
but now these deaths sink like boulders
to the bottom of the ocean where these
people were chased out by soldiers
fighting a people they were uncomfortable with.
As a white person, I was uncomfortable with black people.
There. I said it.
It's a confession that has sat on my chest like an elephant
and until my girlfriends adopted black sister showed me that
she's no different -- this discomfort was all I had ever known.
And now, after speaking with my white friend about how
for weeks he was afraid to get into his car and drive down
the same road that he had grown up driving, I didn't understand.
I didn't care that black people were killed by police because, well,
they were doing something wrong anyways.
And now I understand that just because I had never seen it
didn't mean that it wasn't happening and just because
there was no wittness to see the grappling that
took Michael Brown and placed him six feet underground--
Didn't mean that it didn't happen.
But because I was comfortable with my white life and
because I was comfortable with my white lies that
I told myself saying, "Everything's going to be alright,
because it's not you." Didn't make it alright and now
I can see that discomfort is the key to growing rapidly.
I'm not saying discomfort will fix the problem but
I'm not saying that it won't and when it's come
time to face the problem my only hope is that we face it.
That we face it.
I don't know how to pinpoint the problem.
And I definitely don't know how to fix it.
But the next time we're faced with a dilemma,
I hope that we sit down, and that we listen.