As I am writing this my heart is aching. I have been struggling to find the words. The Black Community is experiencing a pain, loss, and anger that cannot be put into words. The lives of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others were stolen by police, and the racist criminal justice system they operate within. I recognize that I could never fully understand the experiences of my Black friends, colleagues, and fellow community members. Nor can I shoulder their burdens, however much I may want to. Because what we are seeing is not simply a reaction to one, three, or even countless instances of police violence. It is the response to hundreds of years of inter-generational oppression.
When Juneteenth was approaching and I learned more about it I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Horrific and tragic. With all the African American community has been through I am always in awe by the way they move through their grief with such grace.
According to Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Co-Founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity, systemic racism does not begin or end with law enforcement. “What we’re seeing is the bill come due for the unpaid debts that this country owes to its’s Black residents.” Now more than ever, it is important to affirm that Black Lives Matter.