My husband and I have a standing coffee date in the morning before we start our day. Today, I cried over my coffee as we talked about the protests over the weekend. My heart still hurt from watching the news.
Anyone who knows me knows that I see the glass as half full…in fact, overflowing. I look at a problem and I focus on how to address it. I focus on the light instead of the darkness. But I have to say that my heart has been hurting for days as I ponder what brought us to this point…what this means for our country and how we move forward.
That we have to move forward is a given. I refuse to accept that this is where we will stay. I refuse to accept that there is no path forward. There is always a path forward. The question is: do we have the strength to forge it?
There are so many people who have already opened their minds and their hearts and are really trying to understand the situation and who want to work together on how to address this insidious cancer in our society. And there are so many people who want to understand. It is these groups of people that are our path forward. They are the ones who we can work with to move that needle.
For those people still trying to wrap their minds around all this, I say, “educate yourself”. Have those difficult conversations, read, and open your minds and hearts to the experiences of people different than you. Look outside your privilege—white, gendered, and/or economic—and understand what it means when my black girlfriend expresses fear for her black son. What it means when another friend texts me that her 7-year-old son was exposed to the ‘n’ word today. Understand that perspective, that fear for their sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands. Understand what it does to the psyche when someone calls the police on you for bird watching, walking your dog, jogging or the million other daily acts we all take for granted. What if you got stopped and threatened with the police for walking your dog or walking down your street?
We have to continue striving for a better world. I have two brown children and I refuse to leave the current world to them. I will not stop moving forward until we change things for them and all the other children in the world. That is our duty and our responsibility to them.
And I think we can do it. When you have people like Sheriff Chris Swanson who put down his baton to listen and learn. When #WalkWithUs trends, there is hope. When people try to understand, there is hope. When we open our minds and our hearts, there is hope.
I believe that there is hope and I will not believe that the country that I love cannot move forward.