I wear it.
I wake up in it and it covers me throughout the day.
At night, it blankets me in sleep.
This privilege allows for ignorance when there is so much to be seen,
peace when there is none for so many,
quiet while shots ring out and cries for mercy follow.
I can let it cover me, veil my eyes and shield my ears.
Or I can choose to brush it aside for a glance at what is real.
This is a choice. A choice that 37% of my country does not have because of the skin they were born to live in.
The history of injustice resonates strongly still in this day. Structural & systemic - it shows up in the income gaps, opportunity gaps, the school to prison pipeline, and the meticulously drawn lines of our neighborhoods. It is coming violently to a head in the tension between minority communities and the police that are meant to serve & protect them.
Where fear and suspicion give permission to pull a trigger at the reach for license and registration. When pedaling cigarettes beckons a choke hold and revokes the freedom to even breathe. My heart is breaking to understand how the injustice continues unanswered and acquitted while the count of black lives taken by police brutality continues to build.
My black brothers and sisters, moms, dads & babies. I am sorry. And I love you deeply. Please forgive me for all the times that I have found rest in the quiet shelter of ignorance and privilege. Even as I work in a white village and live in a mostly white neighborhood, I see you. I stand with you. And I am holding out hope for peace, equality, and justice for you.
We are all a part of a broken system in which we can ignorantly participate in until we die or we can use this life to make it better, until all lives really do matter.
I cannot deny my white privilege, but I choose to keep it from blinding me like the washed out light of an over-exposed photo. I will use it to fight this brokenness and injustice because your #blacklivesmatter to me.