I fell asleep to red and blue lights, projected from the television. Strobing against the wall. Pounding the back of my eyelids. The voice of the police chief, cut with muted sirens, carried me into a restless stupor.
“Sleep has always been the privilege of those at ease.”
I read that this morning on Twitter.
Paralyzed by grief, those words ricocheted off the knot in my throat. They settled in my gut. Nauseous. Angry at myself. Angry at my silence.
I wanted to scream “ENOUGH” after Orlando.
Instead, I penned my pain privately. I remained silent publicly. Social media saturated with two cents… the world doesn’t need mine, I rationalized.
I wanted to scream “ENOUGH” after Alton.
Ashamedly, I buried my head. I bit my tongue. I’m not black. It’s not my place.
I wanted to scream “ENOUGH” after Philando.
Black lives taken. Innocent lives taken. Senseless, horrifying, abominable. And these within 48 hours. On the heels of Trayvon, Sandra, Tamir, Freddie...
My god, what have we done? My god, what can I do?
Snap the silence.
The comfort of neutrality is poison. In accepting the role of passivity, I am abetting the issue. And I won't do it a second more.
Before I could put swirling thoughts to paper… before I had the chance to open my mouth and relinquish my reticence…
“Do you see what’s going on in Dallas?”
The text lit up the phone, plugged in on the bedside table.
“Turn on CNN.”
ENOUGH. ENOUGH. ENOUGH.
I’m screaming it. I’m begging it.
I’m acknowledging that our system is broken… that daily I’m shielded by the whiteness of my skin. I’m mourning the lives taken. Someone's father, brother, neighbor, husband. Precious human lives. Moreover, I’m condemning violence - “a descending spiral ending in destruction for us all.”
To my friends in law enforcement, thank you for your service and sacrifice. I appreciate those of you, the outstanding majority, who are just. Especially the officers of Dallas, dedicated to preserving and protecting our First Amendment rights - and then our lives - last night.
To my black friends, I love you. I stand beside you. I've grappled with racial injustice in a silent vacuum - speaking about you, but not with you. Mostly out of fear I'd fumble the message or say the wrong thing. I’m sorry it has taken me this long to to seek dialogue. I'm here. How can I be a better ally? How can I support you?
To all, I pray hard for a world where differences unite us, not divide us.
Love is our duty.