My kids and I spent last Friday night in St. Louis. We walked from our hotel, which was really close to downtown to a restaurant which actually was downtown. We walked past the sky scrapers and some people hanging out in parks. We walked through a sculpture garden. We saw art deco designed courthouses and a female model in the midst of a fashion shoot. On the way back to the hotel, we walked by the St. Louis police headquarters.
After arriving home to Lexington, we found out what had happened to Michael Brown. While we were not near where the tragedy happened, it did touch us because we had been in St. Louis that weekend.
I realize countless people are talking, writing, voicing their opinions about what happened. There are so many questions. Why? What are the details? And on and on……
What I think hits me hardest is this. I have a 19 year old son. And I’ve never once worried that he’d be shot. By anyone, much less the police. Even though we live in a sometimes [sketchy] neighborhood. Despite the fact that a young man was shot across the street from our home a few years back. I have never once feared he’d be stopped on the street by a cop, and questioned as to what he’s up to.
One of my coworkers has a teenage son, the same age as my daughter. In fact, they were middle school classmates. This young man, like his father, is black. He seems to be a good kid. Plays football. Attends a school where discipline is a priority. He’s polite when I see him. Of course, none of that really matters when talking about injustice. Kids who aren’t labeled as “good” shouldn’t be victims of racial violence. Nor should the not so polite or kids who don’t stay active. And while I doubt my coworker spends hours worrying about how his son compares to Michael Brown’s story, I’m sure there is the ever present possibility that something could happen. Wrong time/wrong place. Stands out. Singled out. Because of his color.
There’s a privilege to being white. An advantage. Not one I asked for. Not one I’m proud of. I didn’t earn it. It’s just the way it is. Even though it shouldn’t be. No one should ever have to worry about violence inflicted upon them because of their color. And while I’m often hesitant to share opinions via my blog, I feel this is fact. It seems pretty archaic to think any other way.
Here’s a perspective worth reading, thanks to Karen Walrond:
And from the ever on point Brene Brown, I give you her blog post,
If we are people of faith, we hold ourselves accountable for living that faith by practicing grace and bringing healing. If we consider ourselves to be smart and curious, it means seeking greater understanding. If we consider ourselves to be loving, it means acting with compassion. ~ Brene Brown