Dear K1C Parents and Families, Team and Allies,
It is okay to not be okay at this moment.
And yet, this all feels so damn familiar. The murder of a Black man in plain sight is nothing new. The systemic racism that protects those who commit these foul acts - affronts to humanity regardless of color - are nothing new. The response we have seen is not surprising. When every opportunity is closed off to you, and those meant to protect you are the ones who are just as likely to kill you, and every day you see more and more taken from you, anger is justifiable and inevitable. I am angry. I am heartbroken.
- I am angry that despite the two purple hearts my grandfather earned for this country, he was always considered less American than his fellow white soldiers.
- I am angry about white progressive liberals who are unaware of their racism and then, in moments when their privilege and power feel threatened, they weaponize it like Amy Cooper did in Central Park.
- I am angry watching white men being told not to charge police officers at a protest by Black protestors standing next to them. A Black woman saying, "Stop. They won't come after you if you do that, they will come after us." And the white man’s response is, "They are going to kill you anyway."
- I am angry as I work on sorting out a compassionate release for my brother 10 years into his sentence, a Black man who didn't kill anyone, while I reflect on Jason Van Dyke’s ridiculous 13-month sentence for shooting Laquan McDonald sixteen times.
- I am angry that I have to explain why I am angry.
But our response right now matters.
- White people: please don't turn this into an intellectual exercise.
- George Floyd was murdered. It doesn't matter what his blood toxicology report says. That is just propaganda to discredit his innocence in that moment when he cried out for his mother.
- Rioters and protestors are not the same.
- Don't tell us this can be fixed through the political system -- that will simply not be enough.
- Listen and seek to understand. Be okay that you likely can never fully understand the gravity of systemic and institutional racism.
- Black people: We must find ways to mourn that bring self care, care for those we love, and care for our communities.
- Black communities need your support now more than ever.
- Talk to your children about racial injustice.
- Reflect and consider where you may have been an obstacle to progress and work on changing that.
- Leaders: Take a knee in solidarity with those protesting. Join a real push for justice. Create space to discuss what is happening in the world. It is time to show up and stand for what is right.
- Black Lives Matter.
Parents: We are here to listen to you. Our need to connect with each other right now is more important than ever. You all have your own versions of why this moment is painful for you. We can’t heal until we are vulnerable and share those stories with each other.
We will be reaching out to you to schedule a time to listen.
With Love and Heartache,