I wrote this blog post in July of 2016 shortly after Alton Sterling was killed. I can remember the nervous energy that pulsed through my veins as I finally wrote down the words I’d felt in my heart for years. I remember the even stronger nervous nausea that I felt as I hit publish on my little space on the internet. I don’t even know if I shared it right away on social media because I was so scared to speak up as a white woman.
I am no longer scared. And I urge you to set aside any hesitations you have that hold you back from speaking out regarding the racial injustice that is rampant in our country. Position your privilege. Use your voice. Write that email. Sign that petition. Call that Senator. Our silence is not only making it worse but our silence is the problem.
7/6/2016: My husband and I watched the video of Alton Sterling being shot while being pinned down on the ground by two police officers in Baton Rouge, LA, last night. I recall thinking, “What is wrong with these people?” and then I rested comfortably and fell asleep. I didn’t do anything, I was upset that this has happened YET AGAIN and I went to sleep. It’s like I’m numb to it now. Black people are slaughtered in the street so frequently that I’m not even moved to say a word any more because I feel so helpless that I just go to bed. There’s a problem here. And I think it lies in folks just like me.
See, I never have to worry that my husband could be pulled over for a busted tail light and be shot and killed. I don’t have to worry that my nephew could be out on his normal run, just training for cross country, and be mistaken as if he’s running from the police and be shot and killed.
And it’s because we’re white.
And the problem lies in my silence.
I’m white and I don’t carry those fears and I feel so completely helpless when these things happen ALL of the time that I say nothing!
White friends, we MUST link arms with our black brothers and sisters and stand with them and proclaim that Black Lives DO Matter!! And I think that there are some of us that think that this is just a black issue and that we need to stay out of it but that’s the problem!
We need our pastors to speak out about this.
We, as a Christian community, need to unite as the body in which we were created and stand up for justice.
We must set aside our political agenda and stop swinging to the right and to the left and start fighting for an issue that is right in front of us.
So, when you see #BlackLivesMatter being plastered around, they are NOT saying that your life does not. They are not putting themselves of more importance than others. They are not saying that ONLY Black Lives Matter. And I hear people say that they feel this way but you have to take yourself out of the equation and recognize that this is not about you.
The fear is real and we can no longer turn a blind eye to the lives of those that killed and those who were acquitted of those charges.
Those protesting are taking a stand. And we should be standing with them. And unless we are standing up and rallying around the issue at hand, our silence is making it worse by not acknowledging that there is a real problem.
So I’m calling out to all of us who feel helpless and like we don’t have a voice here because the pigmentation of our skin doesn’t match those being wronged in this instance – we do!
And if we do not speak up, we’re the problem!