Black lives matter. This does not mean that other lives don't matter. It means that it's time to begin owning up to our own internal biases and the framework in this nation where people of color are at a fundamental, institutionally built disadvantage. If you do not recognize that this problem is irrevocably real for all too many of our brothers and sisters of color, then you need to begin reading and educating yourself about the world outside of your own.
When I was a teacher (and I start a lot of sentences like this, so get used to it), the most important lesson that I learned was that you must humble yourself in order to gain perspective and respect. I made mistakes in front of students, mathematically and otherwise, and asked them to call me out on the mistakes. I apologized when an apology was required, and I asked questions. Of course you can do these things in your life without ever stepping foot in a classroom, but this is where I learned from honest and observant young people. (And now that I’ve shared where I gained some of my perspective, I ask, where did you gain some of yours? And how are you still learning? Who are you listening to?)
And those are the people that I think of when I am disgusted with the atrocities of an ultra-militarized police force. With a justice system where there is no justice. In dark moments in my mind, I read the hashtags of their names and I want to scream and thrash and sob and destroy the powers that would harm the people that I still refer to as “my kids.” I remember their parents and how much I respected them, and now I worry for the burden of their worry.
I am an ally to this movement of equality and liberation and justice.
I sincerely hope you are as well.
I am learning where to be of service. This blog post is on my reading list.