Them. They. Their culture. Their problems.
I'm hearing a bit of that this morning when I checked my phone to see how things fared with Ferguson last night.
Last night, my black boy and my white girl fell asleep together in the bed. Blissfully unaware of the culture in which they are being raised. And I lay in my bed and cried and prayed.
This morning, my black son will play with his white cousins who love him and be doted on by his white grandparents. And I'll probably cry and pray some more.
My family is US and my family is THEM. When I hear that this is a "black issue," I feel it deeply. My son is black. I am white. I am raising one of those "black boys" that are filling our Twitter feeds. I am the White Woman and I am the mother of the Black Male.
This is not a black and white issue. It is a human issue. Threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Yes, riots make things worse and I don't condone the violence, but I must confess to being part of a system that has marginalized a population so much that they no longer trust the justice system. I no longer trust the justice system when it comes to my youngest. I fear the day my sweet black baby boy has a run-in with the police.
And yet I know police officers and their families. Good sweet people who work hard and love others.
This is an US issue. WE are all humans. WE belong to each other. WE made this mess and WE are making it worse. And when the people of Ferguson hurt, we hurt. When mamas mourn the loss of their sons, it hurts all of us. When police officers feel the sting of remarks about our police system and justice system, it hurts all of us. Not all black men are criminals. Not all police officers are racist. But our system and our culture is broken. And that hurts all of US.
Today may we look at this as a human issue. Acknowledge the brokenness, acknowledge the hurt without condoning the violence. THEY hurt so WE hurt because we are all people.
"Let's not just make noise, let's make a difference."*
*Mike Brown's parents' response last night.