Thursday, July 7, 2016

I am responsible.

This is not a political blog. It is mostly full of weird stories about my quirks and insecurities and the things I love. But tonight my heart is broken. And while my words might seem like a drop in the bucket, my silence would be infinitely more damaging. "What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander."

Innocent people are being murdered. Not "fatally wounded." Not "shot." Murdered. And one life is too many.

To my brothers and sisters who live in fear that they or someone they love will be murdered every time they go for a jog, every time they are pulled over, every time they leave their houses at night, I see you. I'm sorry. I am feeling just the absolute tiniest amount of your pain and it is overwhelming. It leaves me unable to sleep. It frightens me. You are in my prayers.

But I am also aware that posting something on a blog, saying a prayer, is not enough. I must act. It falls on me, with my light skin and my privilege. Me, and the millions out there like me who have the privilege of pretending that this is not a big issue, that this will resolve itself - we are the very ones who must work to solve this gaping injustice.

Today is Thursday. On Monday, a large portion of us celebrated the signing of a document that declared that all are created equal, that there are rights that should not be a luxury. I love this country. I lived in another country and saw the effects of corruption, disorganization, and irresponsibility. But I can love this country and need desperately for it to change.

So to my brothers and sisters who don't live in this constant fear, to those of us who celebrated this country a few short days ago: We have shirked a responsibility for too long. We have failed to recognize in our own actions the discrimination and the undercurrent that allows for murder to be a devastating reality, a part of our culture.

Let's act. Let's speak up to those who can change policy. But even more than that, let's put something on the line. Let's do more than post our sympathies and worry for the world. It's time to set aside our pride. Stop pretending this isn't a problem because we don't feel the pain. It's time to do more than just express sympathies. It is time to love. Verb. To risk something, to give something. To speak up in conversations. To search inside ourselves for our own part in this tragedy, and do what we can in our own circle of influence. Your circle of influence is much greater than you imagine.

It is time to stop pointing fingers. For truly, I am responsible for these tragedies. My ignorance, my denial, it had its role in each murder. And while I alone did not create this culture, I should work to eradicate it, and replace it with love. With a sense of family. With hope in what seems like a hopeless situation.

This is not a political blog. But its time for us to stop thinking that the death of our brothers and sisters is political.