Hey America, I have a question?
For reference, here’s the video that tipped me into this idea. https://www.facebook.com/OccupyDemocrats/videos/2097816210311422/
I consider myself pretty objecting and open minded so I have to say that I don’t know what preceded this video. Maybe the officer tried to pull him over before he turned into his driveway. Maybe the girl (white) in the front seat incited a fear in the office and he felt the need to “protect”? Maybe the officer was just having a bad day? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. My question is:
Why does it escalate so quickly with police when it’s NOT a white person?
There are numerous incidents recorded on video where a white assailant with a weapon was safely disarmed and arrested. In this instance, if this guy was being so combative, why didn’t the officer wait for backup. He could have blocked him in the driveway. He could have asked what happened to his tail light. Maybe he was in fear and lost control of his forebrain thinking.
When we are angry or in fear, we lose our capacity to think clearly. Blood literally leaves the forebrain, our thinking center. Yet, that is the place we need to be most operational in to fix this. No blood = no rational thinking. We are hindering humanity, we are hindering ourselves with our anger and fear. It is important that we keep our hearts connected to our shared humanity. That requires emotional literacy. We must learn to feel our emotions and not always act out from them. We must realize that every human being has red-blood and wants the same things as everyone else – to be safe and to be loved. And there’s no reason we cannot be generous with these things. Safety and love are not diminished when shared; they grow.
Side note to those that say “If you don’t like how things are here in the USA, move to another country.” That reasoning is senseless, especially with regard to someone whose forefathers were slaves, here. They didn’t ask to be here, but ‘here’ presently belongs to them also. And the fact that they are still viewed as threatening or ‘less-than’ is also senseless. They deserve 100% of the rights and comforts enjoyed by every other citizen of ‘here’.
I know the race situation is dire. Anger can be helpful, but it only helps to initiate action. Anger will not resolve anything. We must become proactive instead of re-active, and one day we will be able to see our fellow humans without seeing race. To that end, I have suggestions for two groups of people, one each. Place yourself accordingly. Then I have a recommendation for us all…and an invitation.
Group 1 – white people and those that are white-passing.
First, explore real history, not just what is given in textbooks. Yes, you can watch that on free TV too, in shows like American Experience. Second, connect with and help install change for those in group 2. In doing so, you help to better the world you also live in.
Group 2 – black, colored, immigrant, anyone not white-passing.
You must know that you deserve good things. Please stop relegating yourself to what history has taught you. You are enough. Move forward with love and forgiveness, not anger.
Simple, but maybe not easy. You’d have to first own your part in this. Second, you would have to care about others. When we are in our feelings, especially fear and anger, other people are not what we think about. Please refer back to my statement above about our brains when we are in fear and anger. Remember, you can feel fear and anger without lashing out.
I don’t think this is fix-all; but we must keep moving this issue forward, hopefully to a place where it will no longer be an issue. We all have a role to play, myself included. My goal is to help grow the communal belief, for both groups listed above, that no human is less than another. I want to help others walk in the truth that every human is deserving of belonging simply because they are here. A big part of that is addressing how we deal, with what I feel is the hardest part of it: our emotions. And yes, I am building workshops about emotional literacy.
To that end, I am also hosting a virtual Wilderness Meetup. The term ‘wilderness’ is based on Brene Brown’s latest book, “Braving The Wilderness”. It will be a place for open conversation. Please join in – bit.ly/heart-wild.
And that recommendation: vote, in every election. I’m so stoked that I got to vote in my first open primary election because of where I live now (South Carolina). Politicians, no matter their party affiliation do not have all the answers, though some truly mean well. But our system is not set up for politicians to have all the answers. It is set up for citizens to participate. We think they are operating on our behalf, but with less than 50% of the eligible population voting in any given election, how can that be? The day Americans really turn out to vote, I’m talking 80-100%, politicians will sit up and take notice. In this political system, we the people are supposed to be the ones with the power. Let us stop depriving ourselves of that power.
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
And just in case you are stopped by the police while not being white: http://www.blackpolice.org/education/whattodowhenstoppedbythepolice81814.pdf
I love you. And I’ll see you in the wilderness.