Here we are again, another African American man was shot by the police. This time it was in Charolette and unfortunately it cost the life of Keith Scott. I’m not sure of all the details surrounding this man’s death. I awoke the past two days of hearing of protests and finally took the time to see what was happening. I have friends who are both African Americans and police officers. I hurt for them both. The police seek to keep their respective community safe, while African Americans wants their voice heard. The violent protest shows the anger within, and I have a feeling even if the police made the right decision in this matter the anger will not go away. We keep saying we need conversations to bring reconciliation, but it is slow coming. So here we are again, another shooting, another protest, when will it stop.
As a white man, my eyes have been open to how I treat African Americans unintentionally and I have changed my actions. I’m more attentive to the breaking of their hearts in turn breaking my own heart for the situation they find themselves in because of their skin color. Yes African American relations have gotten better since MLK, but they still need to progress. I live in New Orleans where more than half the population is African American. My heart breaks for the poverty in my own city. My heart breaks every day when I receive an email from nola.com on the front page news that another African American was shot. My heart breaks the majority of the crime happening here is among those in poverty who happen to be African American. I keep praying the incidents surrounding Charolette right now would not happen in New Orleans. I’m thankful for the peaceful protesting our city has conducted. Yet here in America we have another shooting, another protest, when will it stop.
I don’t want us to become numb to this situation, especially me as a white man. There are souls hurting for the situation they are in, and I don’t want to overlook their pain. I grew up in a community where I was surrounded by four African Americans where only two of them were related. I don’t want this to be another passing story. I don’t care who you think was right or wrong before the police complete their full investigation. But I do care for those who are hurting where not a day goes by when a family wonders will this be the day someone is taken from them by a police shooting or arrest. I want to see change. I don’t want to see another shooting, another protest, and I want it all to stop! But that won’t come unless we all seek to bring the change from ourselves by stop being selfish of only paying attention of our own lives, and start paying attention to the lives of others doing everything we can to make their life and world a little bit better than the day before. I know change will not come overnight, and another shooting and another protest will come back again. But it won’t stop unless all races come together including you and me to bring about change individually, communally, and nationally. Another shooting, another protest, we can change it.
* Photo taken from NY Times.