Following my post last night about how proud I was of my town for holding a peaceful protest, a dear dear friend of mine messaged me. He is a police officer and was upset that I would support Black Lives Matter. I understand his feelings, I listened to his information, someone who has been spat upon by protestors, who has put his life on the line and watched friends of his fall. We had a civil discussion about our differing view points and that discussion ended in "I love you" from each of us
I don't support any organization that uses hate and violence to combat hate and violence. Our sign read Black Lives Matter in the purest sense of the phrase. The lives of those with skin color that differs from mine matter to me as much as those who look like me. There is no doubt that there is systemic racism in this country and there has been since its inception. There is no doubt that the current occupant of the white house has done much to fan the flames of hatred and division.
Our problem stems from the Us vs. Them mindset. We can support our black communities without denigrating the officers who go to work every day in good faith to protect and serve. There are bad actors in all groups and they often have the loudest voices and thus receive the most attention. Because I kneel in peace to support justice for an horrific act does not mean that I do not support and appreciate other groups.
We've lost the ability to see multiple perspectives. Simple messages of support on social media are countered with hatred, abuse and narrow mindedness. There is no black or white in these matters, there are only shades of gray. It would do us all good to stop shouting for a moment, to step back and listen, we might actually learn something this time, like I did last night during my conversation with a friend. I don't know how this all changes, I just know that hatred breeds hatred and it's time to stop hating. Humans need to be better humans, for all humans.
Im gonna go make some music to soothe my aching heart...if you can't respond civilly, please refrain...