After writing this and re-reading several times, I chose not the share this on some of my personal social networks. I know that some of you, who are on my mailing list or have me in your favorites somewhere will see this post. I don’t have a really good reason for not sharing but if you’d like, feel free to do so.
I feel all the feelings. I’m sad and mad and confused. This is my blog and I own it and you don’t have to agree with the following. I don’t generally post things like this but I’m doing so for two reasons. One, to maybe help myself write it out to figure out exactly what I do feel and two, so my TimeHop will remind me of how many of us are feeling on this day in years to come. So we can remember. So we (I) can remember the feelings.
This is the police chief of Milwaukee. I first saw footage of this a few weeks ago and was reminded of it again in my Facebook feed today. I first saw this footage on the day and on the days after a 5 year old girl was shot. She was in her own house and shot and killed by a drive by shooter.
I refrain from telling you her race because in my mind and heart, it doesn’t matter. This girl was FIVE years old. Same as my Sydney. Same as the 125 kids in Sydney’s K5 class this year. She was shot by a drive by shooter.
You can guess her race, you can guess what part of the city she lives in and you can guess the race of the person whom they are searching for. I cried that night. I cried for the parents, family and friends of that girl. I don’t know her name, I don’t remember. It was at that point that I quit watching the news. I’ve been deliberately avoiding newscasts.
Why? Because I can’t handle it. I can’t understand what is happening. But did you listen to the statistics the Chief quoted? (I didn’t check his facts.)
“80% of the homicide victims in the City of Milwaukee are African American.
80% of the aggravated assult victims are African-American.
80% of our shooting victims, who survive their shooting are African-American.”
I don’t know what the percentage of race is in the City of Milwaukee because it doesn’t matter to me. There are people and KIDS being killed. Humans are killing other humans. This is not ok. I don’t know what to do or how to help, so I’ve been avoiding it all. I haven’t been clicking on your links on Facebook or Twitter. I haven’t been listening to the news and I sure haven’t been exposing my 5 year old to the violence that our city and our world has to offer. For anyone who makes the statement that this is avoidance and I should be watching the news so I know what is going on, I say this: I chose to avoid. I chose to fill my life with positives because some days of the week (weeks of the month), I just can’t deal with yet another negative conversation.
You’re right, I don’t live in the city. I live in a well off neighborhood on the north side. I probably have a good sense of entitlement because of where I live, how hard I work and how much money I make. I’m entitled to live in a safe neighborhood because of my race. That doesn’t make it right.
Everyone should be entitled to be safe.
Tonight, when I left the office to head to a meeting on the west side of the city, I carefully considered my route, because driving across this city can sometimes be a huge pain in the ass. I left and was immediately stuck in the traffic that was stopped and rerouted due to the protest that was going on downtown Milwaukee. A protest that I didn’t know was happening but should have realized would. A protest I don’t know how I feel about.
I have all the feelings but I don’t know what they are or what to say or how to explain. I wrote about it and I still don’t know how to feel.