Two things happened yesterday.
The first: I live in a diverse older neighborhood, have for years. To me, it’s a wonderful, welcoming, a place where people say hi, chat to each other outside, always willing to lend a hand. I’m also close to a problematic corner where lots of accidents happen. When we hear a thud/bang we pour out of our homes, people help until the real help arrives. Yesterday, there was another thud/bang late afternoon. Lots of damage to the vehicles, minimal to the occupants in both vehicles, thankfully. I was keeping the witness company, hubs was talking to the driver and occupant of the vehicle that had been hit until the fire department arrived. I watched the firemen being amazing, concise with their actions, being kind, making sure no one needed an ambulance, clearing the debris, helping anyway they could. We got one couple home with all the stuff from their vehicle, turns out they lived just a few blocks away and had recently moved here. I’m sure our community isn’t perfect, I’ve also seen how we collectively react when someone is in trouble, the best comes out.
The second: After dinner I checked on twitter and saw a post by ABM – just her words in the tweet made my heart drop and my breath catch, instantly. I followed the link and listened to her describe her fear yesterday from a traffic stop. Her words were palpable to me, real as real can be. I would be afraid too if I was Black.
Later, laying in bed: I replayed what happened in my neighborhood that night (the good out of bad) and the feelings that came over me when I read ABM’s words (the bad) juxtaposed against each other. Two different scenes, both including People of Color and white people. One scene, people traumatized by an accident, were helped by everyone; the other, deep-seated instinctual fear triggered by a lifetime of experiences and the experiences of other Black people, and in the situation yesterday, compounded by being laughed at by the officer, instead of being calmed and an acknowledgement of truth. No one should have to live in fear, or be traumatized by just living their life. Fear that causes your flight or fight hormones to go into overload. A fear you don’t deserve to have simply because of the color of your skin.
Then this morning: I flipped to Fox News and watched a segment where the host and guest got amazingly real for Fox, admitting there was a problem and it needed to get fixed because it wasn’t right. I was thinking maybe hell is starting to freeze over. Maybe, just maybe, more white people (like me) are starting to get it, if it is being talked about on Fox. I was hopeful until I watched this video out of the Ohio – how can you ever hope to fix this?