No Longer Defensive

lives

(Photo by Heather Mount, @heathermount)

By S. (June 2, 2020)

A number of thoughtful friends have reached out to ask me how I’m doing in the wake of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Christian Cooper and the riots that followed.

Short answer: I’m optimistic.

Longer answer: 20 years ago Amadou Diallo was murdered by the police and the conversations I had with many of my friends were very discouraging. Lots of blaming the victim. The discussions turned toward the circumstances. Oscar Grant was shot with the barrel of a gun pressed against his head 10 years ago. Many of my white friends just didn’t want to talk about it.

Six years ago was Michael Brown’s murder. He was no angel according to many people who didn’t know him.

When recounting the story of a family member’s brush with police, a close white friend wanted to know why he wasn’t faster in obeying the cop. This Becky blamed my family member for his brutal treatment, false arrest, and subsequent criminal record. Today, her posts are all fire. She gets it. In the past many of my white friends, possibly you too, dear reader, would go junior CSI on me and try to prove that every dead black person had it coming.

The majority of white people I know are waking up to the reality of being black and brown in America. They are no longer questioning the narratives of police brutality. Rather they are questioning the police.

I can finally talk to you all and not be on the defensive. I’m no longer having to bury my emotions so that we can have a rational conversations about the facts and circumstances. I’m no longer having to play defense attorney trying to prove the overwhelming and unbelievable story that a white cop might kill a black person without cause.