These are disturbing times. On a daily basis, there is news that breaks my heart. The loss of life to virus and violence is hard to take but I am finding the media coverage of clashes with police particularly challenging.
I have a myriad of experiences that have formed my opinions about authority and race as we all do as creatures formed by nature and nurture. I believe (as Luke Bryan also does) that most people are good….that we are flawed but noble beings. However, I cannot ignore the current illumination of ongoing issues that contradict that philosophy.
U.S. social systems encourage trust in authority figures like the police and other first responders. Schools teach children to seek ‘helpers’ when they have trouble. It is the violation of this trust that I find the most disheartening. I simply cannot understand how so many people can lose their lives in situations where ‘help’ has arrived. It is true that the commission of a crime is inherent with risk, but it is also true that the risk is disproportionate for some. It is a hard truth to reckon with. Furthermore, it is a fact that some have not chosen risk at all and are completely innocent victims. They have committed no crime and it is mind-boggling how so many calls for ‘help’ end with death at the hands of those sworn to protect. The divided response of the populace to such blatant injustice is deeply troubling.
Black Lives Matter is a monumental call for all Americans to examine the systems that are in place, to expose inequality, and to address such iniquities. To do so properly, we must first examine our own consciences and explore the misunderstandings, fear, ignorance, bias, hurt, and hate that hides within and which causes many to turn a blind eye to the systemic injustice and the personal prejudices that pervade our culture and imperil our country. It is the corruption in our hearts that undermines the precept of justice for our country. Empathy is the key but one must listen and learn; we must seek awareness, cultivate our ability to empathize, and persevere in practicing empathy with passion and integrity.
Be Empathy Bound in 2020