Why are we still surprised when a black man gets unfairly shot down for doing nothing more than living?
Why are we so shocked that those charged with his murder have ties to the police force?
Why are we sitting here, comfortable in our homes, typing on these screens in front of us, but not doing a thing about it?
Are we voting people of color into office as often as those who are white?
Are we recognizing the white privilege that’s still rampant in this country even if we don’t want it?
Are we speaking up and doing something about it?
And why—why for the love of sweet Jesus does it take another black man getting gunned down while wearing a hoodie for everyone to start screaming black lives matter?
Yes, all lives matter—but until, as a mother of a white son, you have to have a conversation with him about not looking threatening so hopefully he makes it home each night, there’s nothing to say.
Until the life of the brown-skinned little boy matters as much as his white best friend’s.
Then there’s nothing to say about all lives matter.
Of course they f*cking matter.
But the fact that we’re here, in 2020, with politicians still shaking hands and getting their pockets greased by the KKK, says it all.
Because as much as we don’t want it to be true, racism isn’t just accepted still.
By the blind eyes.
And it’s not my problem.
It’s encouraged by the acceptance of colonialism influences.
It’s accepted by “Well, I didn’t own a slave.”
It’s tolerated by “Well, I have that one black friend who I get a Christmas card from every year.”
And it’s always there.
Throbbing beneath the surface of our supposed United States.
Because this truth—
Is the foundation of this country.
Even if we’re only second- or third-generation.
It’s still the history we walk on.
So until we’re ready to quit tolerating—staying silent, not wanting to upset, to be the only one speaking up—this will continue.
Until these names no longer leave our lips once the next trend hits, it will continue.
Until we the collective rise up against those in leadership, demanding action, demanding that free speech does not cover hatred and violence, and that we no longer tolerate the treatment of our brown skinned sons, then we will see this happen again.
We will see it happen as many times as it needs to for us to finally see: the more we feign surprise, the more ignorant we remain.