I remember when Julianna was in kindergarten, and she came home to tell me how they were learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. She was appalled.
“Mom, did you know it used to be illegal for black people and white people to be friends? Did you know they couldn’t even go to school together? Did you know it used to be illegal for people to get married if they were a different race from each other?”
Then she proceeded to go down the list of all the friends we wouldn’t have if that were still the case. And let me tell you, it was the entire list.
It was a proud moment for me to realize how blessed my children were to be growing up in a world where things like race and gender weren’t even a thought in their little minds; it was something they were never going to have to think about.
Everyone that we were doing life with, we were all in interracial marriages. All of our babies were adorable, race was never a thought. I don’t know if I was really that dumb or naive, or we just lived in a place that was more forward thinking and unconcerned with such things? I really don’t know the answer.
The first time I ever realized that maybe the world hadn’t really come that far was actually a show on MTV. Do you remember that show True Life? They did an episode called, “I’m in an interracial relationship.” I specifically remember thinking, “big whoop! Who isn’t?” But then the show started and it was insane the things people were saying and doing and how they were treating these people. All I could think was, “well, I guess we’re lucky we live in California. It doesn’t seem to be an issue here.”
And I’m not so naive to think that race is NEVER an issue (though it shouldn’t be, I mean, this is 2016 for God’s sakes) I’ve seen it. I’ve seen my husband get followed around a store, talked down to, treated differently. I’ve been in the car with him when he was pulled over just because…yes, she said it was for a tail light that was out, but we pulled up right next to her at the light, she turned on her lights and let us drive away first and then pulled in behind us. There was no way she could’ve seen the taillight until after she decided to pull him over anyways. It is what it is, I don’t, by any means, think that every police officer is like her. And I saw my husband humble himself with, “Yes, ma’am, no ma’am ” and never disrespect her or even react. Huge respect.
But those were glimpses here and there and you tell yourself that it’s a few un-enlightened people that haven’t grown up yet and they’ll get it some day. I would just shake my head and walk away.
And now, this morning, I’m waking up wondering how I’m going to explain to my children what’s happening in the world. How do I explain to my kids who’ve never known anything but love and friendship with everyone they’ve met that unfortunately there are people in the world who don’t feel the same way and are acting out on their fear and ignorance? How do I explain to them, when we’ve always taught them that the police are here to protect and serve and deserve respect, that that’s not always the case? How do we talk about what happened in Orlando and explain that level of hate to them? That there are people who hate other people that much, they kill for sport because they’re gay? Really? And then they see on social media so-called Christians who think that kind of thing is ok. Not now. Not ever has that been OK.
And please know, that I’m a huge supporter of law enforcement! I was in a job for almost 3 years where I interacted daily with numerous deputies all day long and can honestly say there was not one that ever said or did anything that made me think they were in that line of work for any other reason than they wanted to help people and would willingly lay down their life to protect our community.
Marcos is in a position that he deals with EPD all the time, is on a first name basis with the Chief of Police and we LOVE him, he’s an amazing man who has done so much for this community over the past few years.
We are not anti-law enforcement.
We are not racists.
And we don’t have to be either one.
We don’t have to choose sides.
Sides are what perpetuates this mess that our country is in. We have to respect every side. We have to respect people’s perceptions and feelings. But we can’t use coddle everyone and never move forward either. Something has to be done.
Unfortunately, it comes from the top all the way down.
It scares me.
I’m scared of what is happening in this country. I’m scared for the future for my children. I don’t want them growing up in a racially divided country. I don’t want them fearing the men and women who are sworn to serve and protect. I don’t want them learning from us that for everything they do in life, there is a consequence, good or bad and then watching politicians get away with breaking laws in spectacular fashions and getting away with it because of money and power. And that’s not specific to Hilary, you guys, that’s everyone. Let’s be honest, this election is a cluster of dumb and dumber and don’t ask me to decide which side is dumber. It’s appalling.
All I can do is continue to be an example to stand up for what is right for all people. All we can do is teach them how to be opposed to an opinion without being hateful and to continue to show love. All we can do is show them that you don’t have to always agree to love and stay friends with people. All we can do is continue to live the best way we can and continue to pray for breakthroughs in our country.
My prayer is that the church will rise up in this time and show more love and hope than ever before. That we will not say or do anything as a whole that makes us all look like ignorant asses. (I’m not even sorry about saying that, it’s the truth) That we will be a beacon of life and lead the way by example of coming together and loving the unlovable and meeting actual physical needs without shoving Jesus down peoples’ throats. That as we love and act justly, the opportunity to share Jesus will come naturally – at some point – not today. Not in the middle of this hot mess.
Today, people don’t want to hear about Jesus, they need to see Jesus.
Let’s all show Jesus today in love, patience, kindness and goodness.