I find myself speechless as I read articles about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. In all honesty, I haven’t watched the videos because I can’t bear to. And it breaks my heart to know that this injustice we have been crying out against so long still lives and thrives. It breaks my heart to add the names Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to the long list of other black Americans senselessly killed.
I find myself disgusted with the state of this country. We talk and talk about racism, about how it doesn’t exist, about how it’s a problem that we’re working to fix, about what is and isn’t racist. Meanwhile, we just keep killing each other. We’re not fixing the problem and so many of us are perpetuating it.
In this moment, all I can say is that I’m sorry. To my black brothers and sisters, I’m sorry you have to live in fear. I’m sorry that so many people shut their ears, eyes, and hearts, and deny that a problem exists. I’m sorry for the times I’ve been that person.
I’m sorry that when a white man gets arrested, we look at his past successes whereas when a black man gets arrested, we look at his past failures. I’m sorry that we can’t even properly convict a white criminal and we kill the black man who hasn’t been given the right to a trial. I’m sorry that it’s taken me forever to recognize my white privilege and I’m sorry that there are so few that have come to acknowledge theirs.
I’m sorry that my people have thrown things like “all lives matter” in your faces when you spoke out against the injustice. I’m sorry that as I white person, I want to dominate the race conversation and talk about how I feel. I’m sorry that I’ve failed to listen and that when I listened, I failed to believe, and that when I believed, I failed to act. I’m sorry that you have often had to live in your outrage alone.
And I’m sorry that this apology isn’t good enough. I’m sorry that this apology can’t make the rest of the country look up and realize what’s happening. I’m sorry that my apology can’t heal the pain and sorrow, can’t stop the killing, can’t repair the damage that my people have done over the years.
I don’t know the answer. I don’t know how to stop the violence and make the rest of the world acknowledge it. I desperately wish I did. And I pray that someone with a bigger voice than me does know the answer and has the strength to act on it. But all I can do now is mourn with you. All I can do now is cry out for your protection. All I can do now is hold hands with you and stand against this injustice.