Making Sense Of A Nation On Fire
After a weekend watching and taking in the coverage from riots around the nation, I wish I had good news to report. I wish that I had reached some magical reasoning that could somehow help. But I haven't. I'm sad, angry, and unsure. But there are a few things I've been able to narrow in on.
The fire and destruction need to stop. That much I believe we all can agree on. It is important to understand where the anger comes from, but the senseless destruction night after night furthers no one's cause. I believe it hampers it. But one thing I have no problem with continuing are the rallies and large peaceful marches that are happening in cities across this country. There was one in downtown Cedar Rapids yesterday. It was loud and passionate. And it was also non-violent. Sure voices were raised and anger expressed. But no torches were lit. No cars overturned. No one injured. Let those types of events continue for as long as it takes.
As much as I try and wrap my head around the injustices in this country towards African Americans, as a white man, I'll never be able to fully understand. I have to admit that. Even though I can see injustices like the George Floyd case, and know that they are wrong, the pain they cause me is not on the same level as someone who is black. If you have trouble with this point, talk with someone who is willing to share their feelings. I did this weekend. Try and see things from their perspective. Try and imagine after decades of civil rights, these types of atrocities still happening in our country. Imagine people scoffing at peaceful protests and saying that they aren't 'appropriate'. Imagine the horrible irony of the rejection of a kneeling peaceful protest turning into the kneeling that killed a man.
The final realization that I came to this weekend is that none of us can remain silent. Our nation and our communities require all of us to stand up at this moment. Let your voice be heard. Whether that is marching and protesting, or whether that is simply pulling your children aside and explaining things to them, do your part. Racism is something that none of us are born with. It is a learned behavior. It must be unlearned, by all citizens, not just law enforcement. By all of us.
I pray for our nation on fire. I pray we find relief soon. I pray for justice to be served. I pray for my friends in law enforcement who are good, decent, public servants.