I’m going to start this by acknowledging that I’m hurting, and I’m pretty sure you are, too. And hurt often plays out as anger and fear. I’ve been keeping this in mind as I’ve received many comments, messages, and emails the last few days.
The last post I put up – the one where I amplified the voices of my friends who are black mothers, who simply wanted to be heard- went live hours before the shooting in Dallas that left 5 police officers dead.
I want to make the timing very clear. That was not a response piece to the shooting. It was published before that. It was a post that was over a year in the making. For over a year, I struggled with if I should use this platform to “get involved.” A week ago, it became very clear that I owed it to the friends who were literally crying for me, a white ally, to SAY SOMETHING. I could no longer just stand with them behind the scenes. And from the moment I decided I would do that, it took me about 24 hours to gather their stories, collect my thoughts, and hit publish- on the only free day I had during the week.
When the shooting in Dallas happened, I was at a hotel in Santa Fe. I was glued to my phone, digesting the news over and over, refresh, refresh, refresh. I cried. I had NO WORDS. Just hurt. A lot of hurt.
I arrived home from my trip, where I had professional commitments followed by a visit with family in the mountains where there is no wifi, last night. My silence here has NOT been because I’m “happy 5 police officers died.” Or because I don’t support my local police. My God.
As I made VERY CLEAR in my last post, I am not anti-police. I am devastated by this violence. Killing police is NOT the answer. I am heartbroken for the families who lost loved ones that night. Believe it or not, the mothers who were quoted in that blog post are also heartbroken and angry this happened.
I AM SADDENED BY WHAT HAPPENED IN DALLAS. I AM HURTING FOR THOSE LOST LIVES.
These two things – my support of black voices and my hurt for the Dallas PD- are not mutually exclusive. They can not only exist without the other.
To end, I want to share a few things others have said so much better than I can.
“You can truly grieve for every officer who’s been lost in the line of duty in this country, an still be troubled by cases of police overreach. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can have great regard for law enforcement, and still want them to be held to high standards.” Jon Stewart
I really, really hope you’ll watch this or at least read the transcript. I was moved to tears by what Dale Hansen, a Dallas news personality, had to say. This sums up the heart of everything for me.
Also, this post by my friend Jennifer Borget is brilliant and insightful. She is the wife of a police officer, and a black mother. “Why are you supporting my white cop and not my black son?”