Dear White Friends
Police chiefs in Virginia & in Flint Michigan JOINED protesters. Police chief in Santa Cruz, California took a knee. Not all cops are racist, but we do still have a problem as a nation with systemic inequality in our criminal justice system. And SOME cops in some departments definitely have a problem with excessive force.
It’s not as simple as choosing to “support the blue line” or join “black lives matter” and assuming everyone on the other side is completely wrong, evil or un American.
Now before you hate me, I’m not writing this post to start an argument and I’d rather you unfollow me or mute me than unfriend or block me. I try not to comment on every post I ever disagree with from people.
Part of our problem is assuming that every issue only has 2 sides.
I have friends (former students) that are cops. My uncle was a cop. But that doesn’t make every single cop perfect.
I have a lot of Black & Latino friends & friends in inter-racial marriages. (again, mostly former students) and they are scared for their children. They tell me racial profiling is real. I believe them. I’m too white, male & middle class to have experienced it myself.
Looting & vandalism is wrong, but so is being calloused and blind to real problems. We’re all a little racist, which is also wrong.
Somehow we all need to figure out how to be patient, kind & humble enough to allow each other to disagree without hating and dehumanizing each other.
I’ve read way too much MLK to be trying to tell people to calm down and be patient who are angry and want justice.
Perhaps I’m appealing more to the white people and rural friends & neighbors I know who have no patience or pity for rioters. 400 years of discrimination and abuse that we’d like to think was resolved & forgotten 50 years ago doesn’t just go away.
Just as we want to know that not all cops are racist, guess what? Not all people of color are looters, vandals, rioters or even protesters.
And remember people didn’t like peaceful, non violent forms of protest like taking a knee at the National Anthem. That was not anti-military, anti-veterans, or anti-America. It was supposed to draw attention about racial inequality in the criminal justice system. What if we had listened & encouraged that kind of protest? I wonder if there’d be the crisis there is in cities all across the country this week?