I've held my tongue far too long ...
Immediately after reading about the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher by Tulsa police, I stumbled across an essay shared by a Facebook friend that truly resonated with me.
I shared the link along with a powerful excerpted call to action. Here's what was blasted out to my Facebook friends:
I was asked the next morning by my editor why I was so willing to share this pretty strong sentiment on Facebook but hadn't considered writing about it for a larger audience.
I was silent.
I honestly didn’t know.
I responded: “I would love to write … I just don’t feel confident in my ability to express my opinions appropriately or effectively.”
But the longer I thought about it, the more I realized it was MORE than that.
I’m afraid …
… of saying the wrong thing.
… of negative responses.
… of losing friends.
… of offending someone.
The truth is, I know I’m not the only white person out there who WANTS to say and do something in the fight against racism and for justice and equality. There are many of us who fervently believe that black lives matter.
We just don’t know how. We are afraid.
But honestly, just as I was typing this, I realized that I’m MORE afraid of what will happen If I don’t speak up.
What I thought was a complicated minefield of a topic really isn’t: Stand up for what you believe.
I’m doing it by writing … openly, honestly and about how I feel about an issue that is tearing our country apart at the seams (and has been for decades), by opening a conversation.
I’m encouraging others to stand up, or take a knee as it may be in this case.
I have to.
What I realize now is that my continued silence showed support for bigotry, hatred and oppression.
Is that what you stand for?