As a spiritual being, I spend my days in gratitude, looking for the happy side of life, being thankful for the gifts of my life and using them to overcome the obstacles that come my way. As a spirituality writer, I work to spread positivity and love in the world but I also find that means shedding light on the truth, the ugly, unadulterated truth. For me, spiritual awareness includes an internal imperative to use my awareness to teach tolerance, kindness, and social and political awareness. I can not sit silent when I hear of social atrocities.
Today's news of two men of color being killed by police, while not yet fully investigated, goes against all of our social and judicial rules of due process, innocent until proven guilty, and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The fact that these killings keep happening, while, within twenty-four hours later, a white man who shot at a police officer was taken into custody unharmed alarms me. The gun control debate intensified after the Orlando Shooting when we were told that "if only enough armed people were there" people would have been saved, and yet a black man who is lawfully declaring he has a legal weapon is shot on sight. So does the NRA's standard of arming the public only work if you are white? If the facts bear out in this case, we must demand justice. We cannot stand for double standards, because when we fail to protect the weakest people among us (or those who are in the least powerful position politically, socially, physically, emotionally, or financially) we all suffer.
This is my call to action.
White people, it is time for us to stand up. Racism, oppression, extrajudicial killings, double standards, they are not okay. The only way to stop them is for the majority race to outwardly say, "enough is enough." We must say it loud and clear, enough is enough.
I never watch the evidence videos because I just don't have the kind of disposition that can handle it...I don't even watch violent movies and TV shows. But today I have watched all three of the shooting videos, the one of Mr. Castilo and the two videos of Mr. Sterling. To use the word barbaric is a gross understatement. To watch these men writhe in pain will never leave me. To think that anyone needs be shot at point blank range when being held down by two officers is unconscionable. We have to do better. Yet, again, a white man shot at a police officer TODAY and was taken peacefully, this is the heart of racial disparity. There is no way that this is not a racial issue - it is absolutely a racial issue. Stand up white people, stop being afraid to say #blacklivesmatter.
I love all people...but today, I really want the people of color in my life to know - I love you, I see you, you matter to me. I stand with you, I feel for your fear, and I do not accept this as the way of life. I will not be silent.