Friendship doesn’t really get easier

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?

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8 thoughts on “Friendship doesn’t really get easier

  1. As the wife of a police officer I will say that this is a very touchy subject, especially now. Of course I have very strong opinions, but I keep them off of social media.

    With all of the officer involved shooting of the past few weeks, it is a scary time to be an officer, and the family of an officer.It’s scarier to go to work and send them to work with all of the strong feelings of conflicting “sides”.

    I would say just let it be for a bit.Let the emotions settle. They will hopefully come around. I wouldn’t discount them as significant parts of your daughters life yet.

  2. I come from a law enforcement family. Parents, siblings, extended family, etc. Everyone is so tense right now. The media, social media, all of this is adding to it. It almost seems like, if you support one side, you can’t support the other, which I don’t agree with, I’m just saying. Hopefully all of this will settle, and soon. I agree with the above comments to wait it out.

  3. One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned over and over in my life is that I should not waste my energy or my breath trying to explain myself to people committed to misunderstanding me. Sometimes that has resulted in the end of relationships; many other times it has resulted in stronger relationships wherein I am allowed to be my fullest self and the other person(s) learn something about meeting and accepting someone where they are. Unfortunately, we don’t get to pick the outcome. Unconditional love means loving people for who they are, where they are, even if we dislike some things they say or do. Anyone who isn’t willing to love you, all of you, unconditionally, isn’t someone to keep around, regardless of who and how close they are. It’s TOUGH. I hope this is a fluke, a hiccup in your relationship with these friends you value so highly. Election seasons tend to be divisive, and election seasons such as the one we are currently being subjected to are bound to produce personal turmoil because the personal IS political. I know you will find a way to navigate this with grace.

  4. I know more and more people who are blocking anyone who posts anything political ~ any party ~ and also doing the same re racial/social issues.
    Keep sending love and support and pictures of Charlie by email. Don’t ask for responses; keep off all the sensitive topics. Maybe come the aftermath in Nov they will respond, may be not. You, and everyone else in this country, will know more come the aftermath.
    You don’t know what all has shown up on their doorstep or their computer or in their postal mail, or in places they work, shop or play. It may have been quite vile, threatening, and terrifying.
    Maybe social media is not the best method of supporting equality and humanity. Keeping social media posts to bunnies and babies and kittens may be an idea to consider. Social media postings may not be the most effective method to support societal change, actions rather than facile slogan posting may be more meaningful. OR NOT.
    Some people think ‘Black/Blue Lives Matters’ means other lives don’t, some people think it means that we need to change society. Each person sees it their own way.
    No judgements coming from me. You are dealing with a tough situation and a painful one.
    Annmarie said it better than I can: “Election seasons tend to be divisive, and election seasons such as the one we are currently being subjected to are bound to produce personal turmoil because the personal IS political. ”
    Safety to your friends and their family, as well as to you and yours, and the rest of this country.

  5. I come from a Law enforcement family as well but I can see both sides. Unfortunately, just like with mass shootings, the more the media shows police officers getting off for shooting blacks, the more it happens. The more the media shows blacks shoot police officers, the more it happens. The media is a huge part of the problem and that includes social media.

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