When I saw the video of George Floyd’s torture and untimely death, I was hurt, in shock, and in disbelief. I remember thinking, “I know they are not killing this man, right here on live video.”
I couldn’t help but think about my son. Every day that my son leaves the house, I pray. It’s one of those deep fervent prayers that a black mother prays for her black son.
I’ve taught my son to respect the police. “If you get pulled over, do exactly what they tell you. Don’t be disrespectful and talk back to them in a way that would sound offensive. Don’t reach for anything! Just keep your hands where they can see them at all times.”
When he first moved here, a little over a year ago, he wasn’t here for a week before he was pulled over on his way to work. My son called and kept me on the phone throughout the situation. The police claimed he was speeding, but my son said he had his cruise control set to ensure he wouldn’t go over the speed limit. He kindly asked the officer for proof of him speeding. Before the officer could even respond, I immediately told my son to “just shut up and take the ticket!”
We shouldn’t have to teach our children to fear the police, but we do it because we have to. It’s part of our everyday survival.
I still believe that there are good officers truly here to protect and serve. I’m truly thankful for your service and sacrifice. I also believe there are a few bad apples that haven’t been held accountable for their actions. Our leaders have to hold them accountable so that these bad apples don’t spoil the bunch. The training and ongoing structure of police forces have to change.
We can’t just point our fingers and blame the people who raised them because we all have a choice to walk our own walks in life. Those who are racist choose to be racist. Racism is not a gene. It is hate taught by the actions and voices of ignorant people. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” We have the power to speak life or death. I choose life.
I am still amazed and proud to see the multitude of people, standing in unity and protesting for change. The changes that I’m witnessing behind all of this are absolutely amazing. I never would’ve thought that any of this was possible, at least not in my lifetime.
I once heard someone say, “When you know better, you do better.” That alone speaks volumes. My mother always told us, “Everything worthwhile isn’t easy.” The changes that need to happen may not be easy, but it’s worth it for everyone, as all lives matter. I’m far from perfect, but I strive to be a better me each day.
I challenge you to be a better you tomorrow.