Language of the Unheard

The first George Floyd protest was peaceful. Bystanders called out to police officers to let the man go, to let him breathe, he’s saying he can’t breathe, come on. No one threw a bottle at the police officer kneeling on the neck of a man on the ground. No one picked up a rock to smash a window. And no one listened.

On Saturday night I couldn’t sleep. I scrolled through photos of graffiti, tributes to Floyd and calls to pursue justice. On a stop sign, “don’t” spray-painted above STOP. On a wall: black lives fucking matter.

I think about my son who is white. His growing up fears are different than those of his black and brown peers. A decade from now, my son will not be afraid at a traffic stop – the taillight is out, speeding, sure – but will a black man still tense at the wheel, talk himself calm?

Black lives matter.

People can’t breathe.

2 responses

  1. Thank you Sarah. I think of my son. Who is brown and will have to worry and I’m glad people are waking up to that fact.

    • I am glad too! Slow turn. Essential awakening. Today I talked with a black woman who said she felt empowered when she realized that just LIVING was a kind of protest. She speaks against oppression and prejuidice by being present. I wonder how your son works people’s hearts too. He is blessing, to be black in a white town.

      Yet I also understand that whites cannot just run to people of color to hear a story about racism or equality or what needs to be done. (Heart work and very practical love). White people need to speak plainly with one another about the need for justice and necessary reforms in America. Black people should not need to explain again and again and again what America needs: WHEN DO WE ALL LISTEN?

      I hope you and Kelly both have wisdom as parents. I am glad your son is yours.

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