I woke up this morning to immediately see a news clip about the second shooting (Philando Castile). I then saw a Facebook post on it, and watched the video. I was on my phone reading a Kindle book, so was constantly updated and checking new stuff on there pretty often today. I’ve been just broken hearted and so exhausted with worry and prayer all day. I’m not exaggerating when I say I broke down at least 4 times today.
I’ve seen a ton of posts that popped up in my feed, in addition to responses to my own… and now this evening, I’m seeing many people who were silent all day suddenly posting about the snipers in Dallas.
And that brought a whole new set of observations that took me by surprise.
While I’m just as sickened by Dallas as I am by the other events in the last 48 hours (and obviously praying for them to catch the shooters before anyone else gets hurt), I’m even sadder to see the large number of people who’ve said nothing about the first two horrific shootings, not for two whole days….but are suddenly outraged about the snipers and posting support and prayers on their pages.
Facebook is all aflutter with support and talk and posts and comments and prayers for the Dallas police officers – from people who have said NOTHING for two days. Not just nothing…like, purposefully avoided any talk of the shootings of black men (one of which had no gun, and one of which was following officer’s instructions), the teenaged boy unable to contain is grief for his dad, or the toddler trying to comfort her mommy after a police officer shot his weapon into a car, INCHES from where she sat – probably sprayed with the blood of her mother’s boyfriend. Not one word.
Then the news hits that a white man in North Carolina is pointing a shotgun at passing cars, and when officers successfully unarm him (without incident), he pulls a pistol on them…and they unarm him a second time – without incident.
How? How is that possible?
Yet still nothing to contribute. No comment on how that obviously incredibly dangerous, two-weapon fiasco was handled so well that no one got even a scratch, but two black men ended up dead – with one gun not found and one (legal, permitted and made known to the officer) never drawn. Not one word.
But then the cops get shot at in Dallas…and these same people have so very much to say.
Its just an observation, but trust me when I tell you its noticeable and confirms how I feel about the fact that so many people are in denial about racism and its subtlety.
It shows when you say nothing.
It shows when you argue that it isn’t a big deal or that its imagined.
It shows when you’re sad and worried about the police being shot at, but not about the citizens being shot at.
It shows when your cries are not about the children who are now fatherless and have just learned to fear police, but instead to cry out “What about this white guy or that white guy”, as if there hasn’t been a problem for a couple of centuries and now everyone truly IS equal…?
It shows when you talk about how all lives matter in response to the plight of the black community, instead of every single time there’s an injustice.
It shows when your automatic response to public outrage at an obviously racially motivated crime is to immediately ask “What about black-on-black crime? Huh? Huh?”
It shows when you say you’re not racist because you have black friends, but its really one or two that you know from work or church and had lunch with once.
It shows when you say things like “for a black guy” to qualify an individual’s worth…as if he’s already got a strike against him.
Because guess what… He does. Your mindset. My mindset. We’re all guilty of preconceived notions about people who visually don’t match what we see in the mirror, or the God we worship, or the people we love. It doesn’t change the fact that we are ALL God’s children, created in HIS image, for HIS glory.
I saw a video today of a Jane Elliot experiment. If you don’t know who she is, look her up on YouTube and watch some stuff. Very enlightening. One of the participants, a teacher, spoke of a student in her class who’d gotten a severe cut on her face. She admitted that, as she bandaged the child’s face, she was surprised to see that the flesh beneath the broken skin was pink. Like her own. “I don’t know what I expected…black, maybe?”.
Yet she left the experiment STILL convinced that she completely understood racism and that her life was devoid of it.
I feel like that’s what I’ve witnessed in my multiple views of posts and comments today. White folks would love to think that racism died with the end of the Civil Rights movement. and really just want everyone to stop talking about it.
But can you at least ask yourself why you feel it necessary to defend everyone BUT black people? And just for one example – Can you just admit to yourself that, as much as you want the right to bear arms, that you fear a black man’s right to do the same?
Of COURSE all lives matter… But as I’ve quoted (and I think the quote can be attributed to Jane Elliot) several times today – Black Lives Matter wouldn’t be necessary if we hadn’t had 300 years of “Black Lives Don’t Matter” and “Black Lives Matter Less“.
Today was an eye-opener. I was already feeling pretty bad about what’s going on in the world, but Facebook today has made me see even clearer that there are some things I just don’t want to know about the people I know.
Like seeing a celebrity in real life. Image tainted. Can’t unsee it.
And now my guard is up, because I know something about you that you don’t even know about yourself…or at least won’t acknowledge.