It really isn’t police officers versus black men or black people. It really isn’t the NFL versus Colin Kaepernick. These things are just symptoms of the issue at large. The issue is racism and people’s willingness to allow their need for comfort to ignore its very existence.
The issue is that when black people openly address what honestly most people agree is wrong behavior, they are met with resistance. I understand the conversation is hard. I get that hearing it when you aren’t actually the culprit seems unnecessary. The thing here is that if you don’t listen, if you refuse to hear the truth in a real way, oppression wins. Silence is the enemy of the suppressed. If you would rather black people not identify the current events of the world as racism, that is part of the problem.
When a black person can sit in your church and teach your kids in children’s ministry and serve on your worship team, but you can’t openly call a spade a spade when an unarmed black person is murdered at the hands of a white police officer and you choose to remain silent, this is an issue. When your co-worker or good friend who happens to be black expresses their pain and you can’t find a way to have compassion and make them comfortable with sharing their experiences with you, this is an issue.
When you sit in your home and click the channel or scroll past people of color screaming about injustice in our country, or worse in your very own community, this is an issue. Turning a blind eye and pretending color doesn’t matter is not helping the plight of black people. It’s not helping us achieve equality as a nation. Comfort can not trump our efforts for change. We are losing good people, and I’m not just talking about the deceased. We are loosing black men and women, boys and girls, to fear and anger. We are losing innocence and relationships that help bring unity into reality. We must open our eyes. We must face the issue at hand.