But Mike Brown has pushed me over the edge. Every time I think about it, the tears come.
There are a billion words I want to say, questions I want to ask, things I want to understand and dialogue with friends who have better perspective than I do.
But not today.
Today is for lament. Today is for grieving. Today is for holy indignation. Today is for holding out hands to rightfully angry, hurting, frustrated brothers and sisters and breathing, “I’m sorry.” Because I am. I am so so sorry.
This is not the world I want, for you or for me. And I don’t understand how this is still a thing – how a person is assumed to be up to no good simply because of their skin color. Why??? Why are their people who see the world this way? Why are their people who want to hide out in their monochromatic bubbles away from anything and anyone different from them? Why do we think someone’s skin color speaks for their character?
I grieve for mommas who love Jesus and love people with their whole hearts, who are doing their best to raise their children to walk in peace and respect for people, but who are afraid to let their children out on the streets for fear of what someone will assume and do. I grieve for dear friends who have shared stories of being followed by police while they were out having a good time with their siblings simply because they were two black men. I grieve for friends who have struggled to find themselves because people made them feel they had to “act more white” in order to succeed in this world. I grieve for students I have loved and mentored who carry this weight on their shoulders ever single day. I grieve for sons shot dead and futures snuffed out.
And I am sorry for holding these words in my heart for several days and not writing them sooner. I am sorry it took a wave of conviction prompted by someone else’s boldness to make me speak.
I hate racism. I hate it with every fiber of my being. And I want to know how we can do better. I want to push back against this injustice.
But today I start with I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. And for what it’s worth – to all the many races and ethnic backgrounds and cultures, but especially, today to my African American brothers and sisters, you have every right to be in this world. I want to be in your life, and I want you in my life. And I don’t want it to be my world or your world but our world.
I know it may not feel like it in the world at large right now, but with all sincerity, you ARE loved. Right here, in this heart, you are.