We Are A Broken Nation

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Something is building. A pressure. A storm. A fire. A spark that no longer can be ignored – despite so many people pretending not to see the red and the orange and the yellow. We are a broken nation that needs to heal. We are a broken nation that needs to admit that we need to heal.

Racism is real.

Mistakes happen. Yes, I will give you that – but you have to think about why they keep happening. Why do they keep happening? Sit on this one.

Bad cops exist.

Good cops exist  – of course they do! I have family members that are good cops. No, great cops. I am proud to know these men. I am proud to call them family.

But sometimes, good cops make mistakes.

And sometimes bad cops make terrible choices because they are filled with hateful beliefs.

Posting about the need for change based on what’s happening this week does not mean that you hate all cops.

Posting about the need for change just means that you acknowledge our system is broken. It acknowledges that you understand that this isn’t how it’s supposed to be.

The images we are seeing. The video, the LIVE video. This is what we have all become. Documentary artists. I was watching the Dallas protest live last night and I saw hundreds of people there marching with signs and screaming and crying and shouting. All there for the right reason. But then I saw so many people there live streaming the march and I couldn’t help but question their intentions. Were they there because they wanted to help the rest of us see what was happening and they wanted us to feel like we were part of the march? Or were they there in hopes of capturing something newsworthy? We have become a society that needs to see all – even the ugliest of sights. But then again… if these people weren’t taping, streaming, recording…. we wouldn’t KNOW. We wouldn’t be having these conversations. We wouldn’t notice the trend.

It’s not NEW by the way. It has always BEEN.

Today, however, it is in our faces. It has made its way up from the streets and into our air conditioned homes. It is interrupting our movie nights with our children and our favorite live Twitter conversations. It is infiltrating our norm. So, now we must listen. And now we must learn. It has risen up for help. It is spreading – the truth. The truth needs wings and I feel like that’s the chosen path. The chosen path is to listen and to understand and to pass the message along.

Something needs to change and that change needs to start with you.

I went to the supermarket yesterday afternoon and I found myself behind a woman of color with her young son while waiting to pay. I actually started to tear up. My mind began to race. I wanted to tell her that I was sorry about this week because I know that she must be so frightened for that boy. I wasn’t sorry because I was white and because I thought the shootings were my fault. I actually don’t like reading those updates on Facebook. I don’t feel that way at all. I felt sympathy for that mother. I couldn’t imagine the fears she must be feeling this week. I’ve watched a dozen videos online from friends begging for change – begging for a proper future for their sons. Begging for the same chance that my boys have. That’s what I wanted to tell her. I wanted to tell her that I was sorry that this world isn’t offering her the same opportunity that I was given. I was sorry that she has to feel unsafe for that boy and that it will never go away – never – for all of his life. I literally had to hold back my tears and myself from hugging her because I was a stranger and I didn’t know how she would react. But I wanted to – I truly wanted to say something because it was just too much yesterday morning. It was too ugly and hard. But like so many people this week – I did nothing. I kept it together until she left and I paid for my groceries and went home to my kids with a somber cloud over my head. Helplessness – despair – emptiness. Watching in disbelief. Reading the hate. And then settling back into the shadows.

And then Dallas happened. And that’s when I knew that this was the beginning. In a year, we will not be ourselves any longer. The tide is turning… as it should. I decided last night that I would write something but I knew I would need to sleep on it. I’m not sure what actions I can take TODAY but I am still sitting on it all and trying to wrap my head around the madness.

I suppose this post is really a way for me to say that

I see you.

I hear you.

I am sorry.

And I am building up my strength and figuring out how I can participate.

We are all mothers. We all understand the love that we feel for our sons.

We are a broken Nation, but something is building and I will be here for it when it does.

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