I am white.
It is the skin I was born in. It’s actually kind of peach and sometimes blotchy in the sun, but in society, I am classified as—white. I’m married to a man with similar skin, and all three of our children are shades of us. We are a white family living on a single lane road in Arizona.
My friends are white, and some are brown, I guess. I didn’t choose them because of their color, it simply worked out that way and it would be disingenuous to seek out friends with darker skin simply because they are. . . darker.
There are those that will say I have no idea what goes on in the communities splashed across the news, that I live in the world of “white privilege” and have no business discussing anything race related. They might add that I am out of touch, isolated by choice, and I should shut the hell up and run to Starbucks.
I have something to say, but those people are in my head, and that’s what makes this hard. Honest questioning is often tough.
To say that I am heartbroken by what is happening in our country would be to pander to the media and the “leaders” on both sides that seek attention and nothing more. Hate sells and division weakens.
No, I’m not heartbroken because that is too easy.
I am tired of being sad, angry, and confused. I’m not interested in surface music video messages or pissing contests over terms and correctness.
I want to understand.
Not in a do-gooder, keeping-my-hands-clean way. I want to know if there are, in fact, officers preying on communities or if it’s a handful of ugly bigots.
I want to know if justice still has her blindfold on or if she is wide-eyed and targeting.
I want to know if darker skinned couples out for an evening are pulled over for no reason, and if school children in certain communities are bullied by those that should be an example.
I want the truth. The numbers instead of the spin and above all else, I want answers. Not hate yelled at a camera.
I want to know if citizens in these communities share the blame. Are they lazy, drug addicted, unmotivated and abusing the welfare system, or are the majority of families with non-peach skin working for the same things I’m working for, and again it’s a handful the media like to turn the cameras on?
I want to know the hours these officers put in and the conditions under which they work. The staffing in police departments, how much of my tax-paying dollars are going to them and the training these men and women receive before they go out on the streets to deal with trauma in every shade.
I also want to know why it has somehow become acceptable to disrespect all law enforcement in such a way that they are now targets. How can they possibly do their jobs?
I am no longer interested in teary faces, angry Facebook posts and people throwing hate and division back and forth for their own purpose.
Our country is unarguably broken, divided with our hands over our ears.
The time for heartbreak has passed. Maybe we need to stop dancing around one another and have the uncomfortable conversations. I’d like my government to do the same and focus its full abilities on fixing instead of talking before one more innocent person, citizen or officer, is made to feel desperate, scared and backed into a corner.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Rise.