I would have hoped that in 2014 we wouldn’t need to say this. But, with the events that have followed the grand jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson, I’m convinced, as are so many others, that we do need to say it.
We need to say it loudly.
We need to say it fearlessly.
We need to say it again and again and again.
And who is “we?” All of us who believe that the United States could be a more inclusive and less brutal society than it is today—those of us who believe in a more just world.
But there’s another “we” in this equation. I mean people like me. I’m a white male. I grew up in the suburbs. I have a master’s degree. I’m a musician, and I also work in the tech industry. And perhaps most importantly, I’ve never been terribly outspoken about issues of race.
Its important that I say what I feel about this because, as a member of those groups that I described above, other people like me might assume that I’m just fine with the way things are because I benefit from the status quo. And that’s not ok.
I’m not great at arguing. I’m not great at researching a collection of facts to back up my opinion. Hell, I’m not even very good at having an opinion in most cases.
But, I can say that despite all those things, I do believe that we, and I mean all Americans of every color, need to push our leaders and each other to look closely at what’s happening between police departments and communities of color and make changes for the better. We can do better, and we will if each one of us accepts that there is a problem.