A Time to Mourn

There’s blood in their streets.

I see the little boy Omran in Syria with a bloodied face in shock. I see two boys hugging and wailing, mourning the loss of the brother. But that’s there. It’s not on my turf. That’s ISIS’s fault.

Except there’s blood on our street too—my street—here, in civilized America—land of the free and home of the brave.

Can we take a moment to mourn?

If all lives matter equally, then pause a moment to contemplate the gravity of what happened: an innocent man was needlessly killed. His family never will be able to hug him again. He will not finish his degree. He will never sing again in his church choir.

This was not a woman by herself acting in self-defense, afraid of a man bigger than her. There were four officers. I don’t care if he was on every drug known to man—there was no need to kill.

I’m not a very empathetic person. I know a couple people who I suspect might be Highly Sensitive Persons, and it amazes me how they just feel the pain of others. But I do believe in deliberate empathy through intentional imagining. It’s not fake; it’s sought.

If you, like me, are white, try to put yourself in the shoes of the black community. If that is too abstract, try putting yourself in the shoes of Terence Crutcher’s wife or twin sister or child.

Imagine the one who was supposed to protect you and your family killing your father.

Imagine being scared of acting imperfectly in public, scared for your life.

Imagine being angry at the person who used the terminal option when she didn’t have to.

Imagine being sad. He should be here, and he’s gone, and you loved him.

I can’t imagine, which is exactly why I need to try to.

**I have a lot more thoughts about this issue that I will eventually try to address more, but in my experience dealing talking with individuals in the anti-black-lives-matter camp, the main thing lacking (ironically in an abundance of emotion) is empathy.**


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