Listening to the news this morning, it is extremely hard to feel joy on this beautiful summer sunny morning. Two black men killed at the hands of police this week, and last night, five Dallas police officers gunned down at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.
What are we becoming?
I feel such sadness because I have such conflict on this topic. On the one hand, I have been in a 25-year relationship with a black man. On the other hand, I have a nephew and several cousins who are police officers.
Institutional, overt, and silent racism continues to exist in this country. While with my significant other, or members of his family, I have seen the different ways I am treated versus the way they are treated. My significant other is the last person who would "play the race card." He honestly looks at all people as people -- smart, funny, loving, hateful, ignorant, jerk, or outright asshole. He doesn't make a judgment based on what they look like. I get more infuriated at the subtle racism he experiences almost daily than he does. He is a better person than me.
I love my nephew too. He is one of those rare people who proclaimed when he was about 4 or 5 years old that he wanted to be a cop, and he was never deterred. He worked with the police while he was in high school, he majored in criminal justice while in college, he volunteers as an EMT in his community, he worked as a park ranger and a bicycle cop while in college. He loves his wife, his baby daughter, dogs, and his boat. He loves my significant other. They have been buddies since he attended my significant other's basketball camp when my nephew was 9 or 10 years old.
I worry about my nephew all the time when I hear of people retaliating against police officers. I worry that one day my nephew might be involved in a crazy altercation and in the heat of the moment, something happens, a shot is fired, and someone who might not have needed to die, does. Since becoming a police officer, my nephew has been hit, scratched, spit on, kicked on numerous occasions. I am constantly amazed of his stories.
By the same token, I am constantly amazed that black men are killed by police under strange circumstances.
I don't have the answers.
But, I am sad.
I am scared for our country.
We are not progressing.
We seem to be regressing.