I guess it's that time to make that post I've been avoiding. Because I didn't want to write it. Because I didn't know where to start. Because it was unbelievable times, and still it.
Shootings of people who look like me. Have been going on for so long. And you wonder who really cares?
A few days after yet another shooting of an unarmed black man... My family and I are at church, a predominantly black church in a predominantly black neighborhood. The sun has set so its dark outside. My 13 year old son asks if he can walk to the corner store with some friends, other black teens. And I hesitate to answer him. I hesitate. Never before have I hesitated for fear. But I hesitate. I decide to let him go. I don't want him to feel my fear. I don't want him to be afraid. There is no "healthy" fear to instill in a child or in anyone, yet THAT is our daily reality. Be vigilante, obey the laws, be respectful, don't give any reason for others to fear you. You hear it all the time. It's real. It's a real spiel we tell our children all. the. time.
My son went with his friends. And returned without incident. One of his friends stuck his head through the door of the balcony to let me know they were back. His words, "we made it back alive." What life is this that that statement could be a joke based on reality? It bothered me the rest of the weekend, the rest of the week, the month, every time I think about it. I wasn't upset that he said it. I was upset that it was in his mind at all. That it had to be in his mind at all.
It's saddening. I didn't grow up like this. I did not have fear as a child. There was trust all around, except, of course, of strangers, who we were always told to be wary of. I came here and things were different. I came at 17. Naive, ignorant. Not blissfully so because the awakening is indeed rude..But my children! Why do they have to live like this, with this, not being free, because of others' fear of...what? Fear of realizing how small and insignificant and unhappy they themselves really are is my guess. Sounds like a bully to me.