Black and Blue

Friends.

I…

I…

I just don’t know what to say.

My heart is broken.  It’s bruised.  It’s black and blue.

I haven’t said anything about police brutality because there are always a lot of factors involved. And until we know all of the facts about each case it’s hard to make any objective judgment.

I have been treated poorly by policemen multiple times myself. My first time being pulled over was because I was in a park after hours.  It was dark and I was asked to exit my vehicle while it and I was searched.  The cop called for backup and when nothing was found I was told I was “boring” and sent on my way with a fat ticket.  I’ve had a cop lie to my face.  I’ve had a cop leave me crying on the side of a sketchy road in the middle of the night, as my car wouldn’t start, after giving me three tickets for two violations.  I’ve had a cop advise me not to make an official statement because it would make the property value of the city go down.  But in each time I’ve come across a rude or tyrannical police officer, I never once feared for my life. In fact, when I see the police cars patrol my neighborhood, I feel safer.  I can’t judge every police officer by the few bad ones I’ve encountered.  For the most part, they have trained and sacrificed to protect my family and me. And I am truly thankful.

But after the recent events, my heart breaks for the black community… again.  I have been able to discount statistics due to so many surrounding factors.  I have excused past police shootings because people, even without weapons, can still be a fatal threat to others.  But this week, it has become very clear that policy needs to change.  If the law finds that shooting a man with his hands up because you are afraid he may have a gun nearby is sound and just, it’s time for a policy change.

Zianna is right.  Black people shouldn’t have to feel this way.  An entire people group should not be afraid of the people who have vowed to protect them.  It’s a problem.  It’s a problem that causes more than “unrest.”

Watch this. The whole things is good but if you’re pressed for time watch from 3:45-12:43.

One thing may lead to another to cause statistics that seem unfair.  It’s time to find the root of these statistics. It’s a vicious cycle that police fear black males because black males are statistically committing violent crimes at a higher rate than any other race proportional to their population.  Is it possible that black males feel the whole system disrespects them, is unfair, and untrustworthy?  Would changing the rules of engagement to include “tase first” help?  I’m not the expert here but I can question the experts and call for conversations to begin.

Because I’ll say it again: that’s what will help.  Conversations.  Face to face.

When I saw him from afar, I thought he was a bad dude.

When he got closer, I thought he was just an animal.

When he got closer, I recognized that he was a human.

When we were face to face, I realized that he was my brother.

-American Proverb

 

Seek Joy.

My boys and I love an adventure.

When we decided to start geocaching this summer I told my boys all about how we would have a mission all summer long, everywhere we went.  We searched out geocaches in our neighborhood and close by parks, we found some in Oklahoma City with Grandma.  Admittedly, the heat made the mission less fun.  That and we all got poison ivy.

But the thrill of a quest, something to find and accomplish gave our summer a little extra adventure.

~*~

Today and every weekday for the past month, Isaac woke up with silent tears in his eyes dreading a new day of school.  Honestly, I think middle school is going to be more fun than elementary school for him, but he’s in a very busy season.  Isaac’s school starts an hour later than Asher’s and by the time he gets home from school he has an hour or less of free time (none at all if there’s homework) before dinner and football practice most days. On Wednesdays he has even less time because piano lessons are before football.  He really needs his free time and he’s just not getting enough.  By the time football is over, the days will be shorter and I fear he’ll still be missing that time in the sun.

isaac-jr-longhorn-2016

Every. Single. Day. I explain why he has to go to school and how it’s hard, but good for him.  We talk about all the best parts of school: seeing his friends, his favorite classes, how funny his science teacher is, dismissal…  We have to take each task every morning and evening (because he starts dreading the next day at bedtime) one step at a time like someone in recovery.

“You don’t have to go to school right now, you just have to brush your teeth.”

Every. Single. Day. It breaks my heart.

Today, Isaac, you have a mission.  Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to seek out the joy.  Dig, scrounge, chase the moments in your day that make you happy.  Do you get to sit by the window and the sun shines through and warms your arm on your desk?  Let that make you smile.  Were you first to your lunch table? Take pride in that small moment.  Did you feel the breeze circling through the bus on your ride home?  Take it in and let it fill your soul.  Life is good, baby.  Life is hard, but it is good.  Every single day is one day closer to the end of 6th grade.  You’re going to make it.  I believe in you.

Choose joy.  Take the challenge.  Change your mind.  And pray for the help it will require to make the change.

All my love,

Mom