I’ve spent the last forty-five minutes in tears over people I’ve never met. Over people I may never meet. We do, however, have one thing in common. We’re Americans. We live in a country where, just three days ago, we were drinking and saying “cheers to the greatest country in the world”.
Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to live in a well-developed economy. I am grateful for the privileges I was blessed with. I am supportive of those who fight for our country both internationally and domestically. But today… today I am disappointed. I am disappointed in our country as a whole. I’m disappointed in the senseless acts that are tearing families apart. I’m disappointed because so many people over the years have fought for freedom. For rights. For equality. Yet somehow, it all goes out the window in a matter of seconds… and people die.
To this day, they still teach about Martin Luther King Jr. Teachers print out transcripts of his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech. Students watch grainy black and white films of the speech being given. The class discusses how revolutionary it was. AND STILL OUR COUNTRY IS DIVIDED.
I do not know what it’s like to grow up in the ghetto. I do not know what it’s like to be avoided on the street because of my skin color. I do not know what it’s like to be denied access to human rights or be assumed a criminal because of my heritage.
But I do know that if I were thrown down on the ground by a cop with a gun in my pocket, but not reach for it, I would still be alive. I know that if I were to be stopped for a broken tail light, inform an officer I had a legal permit and a weapon in my pocket, I would not be killed as I reached for my driver’s license.
There are people in this country who wear that blue uniform and would gladly give their lives for anybody – black, white, hispanic, asian, gay, or straight. Officer Nakia Jones is just one example. She is a black female and a mother but she’s also a police officer. She joined the force to make a difference. She understands that A HOUSE DIVIDED WILL NOT STAND.
Though I sit here angry and sad over the nation we call “land of the free”, I remain steadfastly hopeful. I hope that we will not give up. I hope we become even more relentless in unifying our nation. I hope to try to do something daily, even if it may seem small, to help spread kindness, acceptance, equality, and LOVE.
To the loved ones of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, I’m sorry. I’m so, so, so sorry for your losses. You should not have to endure this. I hope that in our lifetime we can see a change. A change so drastic, you may be able to find peace. Sincerely, an unnecessarily privileged white female, whose heart is absolutely broken for you.
Video content courtesy of Women You Should Know and ABC News – (Note: hyperlinks for videos do not work on mobile site)