There are so many thoughts swirling in my head and feelings heavy in the pit of my stomach as I try to begin making sense of the mess that is Ferguson. I watch news clips, I read articles, I keep an eye on my twitter feed. I read through the discussions happening on Facebook facilitated by people I care about of all colors.
And my conclusion?
Is that there is a lot of hurt and confusion happening right now.
…that people have a right to be angry.
…that it is possible to support law enforcement and still disagree with what is happening in Ferguson.
…that it is increasingly more difficult to trust anything I read and see in the media.
…that I am PART of the media.
…that I cannot begin to know what it is like to be a person of color in America today.
…that racism does exist. And if you don't believe that, you need to wake up.
…that the way protests were handled in Ferguson was wrong.
…that there are bad police officers in the world. Just as I believe there are bad doctors, bad teachers and bad parents. And that we should not let this acts of darkness shut out the many other acts of light that these groups of people bring to the world.
…it is a disservice to a community when the people cannot trust and do not respect those who are supposed to be protecting them.
…that police brutality is an increasing issue in our country.
…that we don't know the entire story of what happened between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson.
…that Michael Brown was shot 35 feet away from the officer that shot him in a position of surrender.
…that we don't know if Michael Brown "strong-arm robbed" a convenience store. But Michael Brown could have robbed two convenience stores prior to meeting Darren Wilson. And he could have been arrested for those supposed crimes and brought to trial, because that's how our law is SUPPOSED to justly work. Had that been the case, he'd still be alive.
…that punishment for a convenience store robbery does not constitute death by firing squad.
…that we could all benefit from open, honest conversations with one another.
…that we still have a long way to go to be "The Land of the Free, Home of the Brave."
…that we cannot presume anything about anyone until we've walked a mile in their shoes.
As we process what is happening in Ferguson, as we try to make sense of our own thoughts, as we struggle to know what we believe, we need to allow ourselves to become uncomfortable. To hear what others are saying.
And above all things, put ourselves in the shoes of others: our minds in their minds, our hearts in their hearts.
What is it like to be her?
What is it like to live his life?
How does she perceive me?
How does he perceive I perceive him?
It is a long road, and it's a journey we have to make.