Police-involved killings of black civilians (more to come on that in a later post), an ambush on police officers and now the attack in Nice, France.
This morning I woke up to a happy, healthy son. Well, maybe not so happy. He needed a diaper change and little man does NOT like being wet. But, overall, I have a happy, healthy son. Something I am thankful for every single day.
I worried every day of my pregnancy that he might not be healthy. Not because I was a high risk pregnancy, or because disease runs in our families, but because there is so much that can go astray. So I worried. And now that he is here and healthy, I am grateful.
The news over the last two days however has me thankful for something else, though.
I’m thankful that my happy, healthy son is white*.
I’m thankful for that because it means that I don’t have to worry that he will be walking down the street and end up killed because of his skin color.
And as thankful as I am for that, I am angry.
I’m angry that my black friends and their kids don’t have the luxury of white skin. That they must be fearful everyday that they will be killed because their skin is brown or black.
I’m angry that white people don’t believe that white privelege exists (newsflash: it totally does). I’m angry that white people try to squash an issue they don’t understand by saying #AllLivesMatter.
No fucking shit.
But trying to silence #BlackLivesMatter makes you part of the problem. Yes. All lives matter. But right now, at this time in our society, #BlackLivesMatter needs to be heard and spread.
Because it’s black lives that are being taken at the hands of (predominately) white police officers.
And over the next several weeks we will hear all about Alton Sterling’s past. His criminal record. We’ll hear about Philando Castile. About any poor choices he ever made in his life.
The media will dig into every nook and cranny of their lives trying to paint whatever narrative they have already decided on. This is why I didn’t pursue journalism as a career. It’s disheartening. I know the extent of information left out of stories because I’ve done it. I’ve chosen which angle to take. And I don’t like it.
Because the part of the story we won’t hear about is the officers who killed these men. We are unlikely to hear about their past. Probably won’t hear much about their job performance. Have they been investigated by internal affairs? Had complaints filed against them? We probably won’t know.
And that makes me angry. And sad.
I shouldn’t have to be scared for my black friends. Their kids. Their families. I shouldn’t have to worry about if they are going to make it home safely tonight. But I do.
So, white friends, please, please, please stop with #AllLivesMatter because right now, #BlackLivesMatter is so very important.
*My family is Native American, but our skin color is pretty light. We get the benefit of passing for white.
** In many of these instances the individual killed is white and/or the use of deadly force could be considered warranted as the person killed was armed and/or shot at the officer(s). The number used includes all officer involved shooting deaths as reported and collected by the Washington Post.
I don’t have the answer. Some magical solution. I am positive I don’t even have all of the information necessary to form a well-informed, rational and thought out arguement.
But I know that we must do better. We are failing…as a society, as a nation. Failing.
And rather than have calm, rational, REAL meaningful conversations about gun control, responsible gun ownership and how to end these fucking senseless (and preventable) mass shootings, we are screaming at each other. Again.
Fighting the same fight. YOU CAN’T HAVE MY GUNS! GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE DO! NO GUN HAS EVER DONE HARM ON ITS OWN!
BAN ALL GUNS! GUNS ARE EVIL AND HAVE NO PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY! WE ARE GUN OBSESSED!
I don’t have the answer. But we must do better. Because mothers and fathers just lost their children. Dozens of families are missing pieces of their hearts and souls.
And it’s crucially important that we don’t gloss over that the entire reason these people were slaughtered in a dance club is because they are gay.
BUT BEING GAY IS GROSS! BEING GAY IS A SIN! IT’S IN THE BIBLE!
Like, who fucking cares? If you’re that wonderful of a Christian, you’ll pray for them. Not judge them. You’ll love them anyway. You know, like Jesus did. Because if you are using your religious beliefs, or religion in general, to discriminate against a group of people, to view yourself as better than someone else, then you are doing religion wrong. And that’s not an opinion – that’s a fact.
Seriously, we must all do better. Tolerance is not enough. We must speak out about the injustices and inequalities that they gay community faces every single day. Just because you don’t see it, or don’t believe it happens doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Because I assure you it is.
And just because you disagree doesn’t make you right.
You don’t have to agree with me. You can believe that everyone absolutely needs to have the ability to own an AK whatever, but that doesn’t mean you’re right. If I disagree with you, it doesn’t make me right, either.
But we MUST do better. Everyone’s lives literally depend on it.
In this week’s edition of #ProofingMatters we witness a graphics department that just gave up, a tattoo artist that should probably stick to pictures and an incredibly unfortunate sports headline.
Spotted somewhere in Philadelphia. From the best worst offender in Kansas City television news, KSHB encourages its viewers to hire gas prices. What am I hiring them to do, exactly?Sometimes, spelling and grammar are hard.
The little known 51st state, Colorodo.
And, finally, this headline about the Philadelphia Phillies pitchers striking out batters.
Keep proofing, Friends. It matters.
As many of you know, I occasionally guest write for my friends.
This month, my friend Britt asked if I would contribute to her blog series, The Life Enthusiast Chronicles. As this is one of my favorite things on the Internet, I was thrilled to be asked, and immediately agreed to be a part of it.
Each month, Britt asks a different writer she knows to answer the same question: what makes you enthusiastic about life?
So, head on over and check out my answer to the question.
While you’re there, be sure to browse through the other posts and if you love Britt’s work as much as I do, buy one of her awesome novels! My personal favorite is Nola Fran Evie if you need a starting point. ☺️
You can buy her books on Amazon.