I am concerned that I may have lost one of my best friends, and I’m also mad about it because if I have the reason behind it sucks.
I haven’t talked about it on the blog because the internet is just this giant echo chamber of awful lately and I haven’t really had the words to say it all, but I’m just going to throw my feelings out really quick. The shootings of unarmed black men (or even armed, but non violent black men) by police are horrifying, unacceptable, upsetting, scary, not okay-all the words. Seriously all the bad words you can think of.
I am a white woman. I respect law enforcement. I respect that they have very hard jobs. But I also recognize that because of this they should be held to a higher standard and if you are racist or more afraid of one race than the other, then you should check yourself before you enter that career field, and our testing and standards for law enforcement in this regard and many regards should be higher. I believe there are many, many more good police officers than there are bad, but just because of this it doesn’t mean we can just accept the corrupt and murderous intentions of the bad ones.
And I am so sorry that this makes the officers who are literally just trying to do their jobs safely every day feel bad, persecuted, and put upon. And I can’t ever say that I identify with how it feels to be black in this country because how could I? But I would imagine that they feel bad, persecuted, and put upon quite often as well.
So, when this all started getting stirred up on social media again i was very outspoken about my belief that Black Lives Matter, that All Lives Matter is not okay, etc. etc. But I was also pretty outspoken about what i said above-Police are generally good people, I believe in them and respect them, etc. etc.
When the shooting of police in Dallas happened, I directly texted my best friend M, who is a police officer, to tell him this:
“I’m so sorry M. I’m in tears so I imagine things probably feel pretty rough for you. You know I’m always on your side.”
I never heard anything back. His wife, who used to “like” every single picture of Charlie I put up on facebook no longer does. Neither of them has spoken to me or Chief. Maybe they’re just busy and staying off the internet, but I feel like M and L think that because I support BLM I no longer support them. And that makes me sad and angry all at the same time. Sad that I’ve lost a friend and angry that they can’t understand why I feel the way I do, or at least accept it and understand that I’m not calling M a bad police officer.
M is a good police officer. I brag about him all the time. He makes genuine efforts to treat everyone fairly, and he cuts people a lot of slack, especially on first time offenses. Unless he’s just blatantly lying to me, he let’s a lot more people off the hook than he arrests, and that includes people of all races. He’s not a jackass cop either. He’s a sweet man. That’s why he’s one of my best friends.
But he has been outspoken to me before about how he thinks that BLM makes thing worse and I’m sure that after Dallas he blames me and everyone out there supporting BLM. i don’t agree with that, but I figure that’s his perspective. So where does that leave us? I’m not going back on my feelings. I support BLM. I support police. I want effective change for our country. I want peace. Lately I haven’t been posting as much about BLM but that’s not because of M and L, but mostly because I’m so exhausted emotionally that I’ve been distancing myself just a little bit from everything political. I’m starting to dive back in because I know that there are a lot of people who don’t get to take a break from the pain and heartbreak of racial injustice.
But I also don’t know what to do about M. I reached out and got nothing back. Not even angry words. Just nothing. So I’ve been leaving it, but the longer it goes the more it hurts. We talked long and hard about them being Charlie’s god parents. We’ve talked long and hard about making them her guardians in the event that we die (we still haven’t decided between several candidates on this, which we really need to do). We love them like family-better than we do our own blood siblings. So this rift (if it’s a rift) is really hurtful.
What would you do?