Again and Again and Again?

I am shocked and numbed by the horrific violence that continues to take the lives of African-Americans and police officers. While the media reports the incidents, we may never fully know the complete and accurate story, but again and again, African American men (and women) are met with unnecessary force at the hand of law enforcement. I have to ask, if my tail light were out and I am pulled over, even if I had a licensed hand gun in the car, I bet that I would be treated differently. The traffic stop would most likely end with or without a formal warning issued and I drive away. I don’t have to live in fear that I could die as a result of a simple traffic stop; white privilege at work.

I live a few miles away from where the Baltimore riots occurred last year over the police handling of Freddie Grey, who died as a result of a spinal injury incurred by police during custody. Even if you believe the prosecution had a weak case, it is hard to believe that no one will ever be held accountable for his death. There cannot be peace without justice.

Whatever opinion you have about law enforcement, the facts show that African Americans are profiled and held to a different standard than Whites. Enough already! I have such respect for police officers and am grateful for their courage. There is an overwhelmingly high % of brave and honest police officers, yet it is the few who are hateful, harmful and dangerous. They need to be held accountable! All officers need to be trained to become more aware of bias and profiling and police departments need to build community and implement community policing models. They are responsible for keeping us ALL safe.

There are too many families in pain because of fear and gun violence. When will we create peace? When will be bond with each other? When will we see the good in each other and when will we stop discrimination? I feel helpless, because no matter what I say to my State politicians, no matter how I vote and no matter how many tears I cry, it feels like WE as a country are held hostage by so many broken systems. When will we realize that all of our liberation is bound up together?

I pray every day that the lines of color, sexual preference, gender, religious belief, political affiliation, social class, etc. will be washed away and we can stand together as one to live in peace, to prosper, to educate our kids, to respect our elders, and to be grateful for this life that God has given us. I might feel helpless in this moment, but I will never lose hope that good will overcome evil and justice and love will triumph.