Photo and article by Kristi Crutchfield Cox I have tried and stopped, started and deleted attempts at finding words to provide something, anything, to the chaos of our last several weeks. Reeling from the events of last night. I need more time to listen to those before commenting for us. I have questions I want to [...]
Photo and article by Kristi Crutchfield Cox
I have tried and stopped, started and deleted attempts at finding words to provide something, anything, to the chaos of our last several weeks.
Reeling from the events of last night.
I need more time to listen to those before commenting for us.
I have questions I want to ask, about what and how we work to change our perceptions of our fellow humans, whose skin and clothing trigger our stereotypes. Of how we each move past what we assume about one another, from our upbringings and experiences.
I call myself a feminist. Some people think that means I serve children as a breakfast dish.
Stereotypes are dangerous, especially when taken to extremes. Used to validate heinous treatment towards one another.
We are forcing ourselves into a police state and it is dangerous.
Police do not want that anymore than we do, because once that uniform is off, they are neighbors, friends, even our kids' softball coach.
We have to admit we have a high number of black people being murdered, shot, accidentally killed, killed in self defense, and incarcerated at higher rates and extremes.
We have to acknowledge our upper class, “good kid,” white boys have a number of rapists in their ranks.
We have to admit different colors have different sentences.
Prison is solving nothing. It creates much larger problems. Only the violent/heinous crimes should be locked up.
The rest can be dealt with more effectively in other methods and ways. Community accountability and beautification programs paired with counseling for those life choices which cause community hazards. We need to stop destroying families and communities through separation. Prisons cost us more on release for an individual, than a holistic approach ever could.
But our stereotypes block us from common sense in our voting for officials, shaping our ideas of what makes our world safe and better through campaign slogans and ticker tape news reports.
Do I think it is always a race/hate motive? No.
Do I think we have people with guns and uniforms, who possibly may sometimes have reached a point where they are scared, for whatever reason and this can lead them to become reactive rather than responsive?
Do I think sometimes a person is killed exactly because of their race?
Did a lot of people die this week because we have forgotten how to communicate, how to deescalate, how to control our rage in the moment when we identify a target to take aim at?
We create villians at a rapid rate.
Did we create this environment through our inaction to action?
And yet, today, one man, a simple interview, changed that course. For those who listened, those who allowed his words to be heard, he educated his interviewer, a journalist briefly trying to shape questions and answers to incite. He calmly clarified and redirected him.
He has seen what the interviewer has not. He had wisdom the reporter barely caught.
If you did not catch the interview on the street for MSNBC, Google it, go to site and look it up.
He provided something beyond the rage and confusion, he offered direction and steps through his own lived experience, and he represents what everyone needs to hear as we formulate the sides of the fence we want to climb on to watch the explosion of extremes of media influenced rage responses.
He also admitted he was now aware he had to be afraid, because others were afraid of him.
We have to realize we have all become “triggered.”
You are triggered reading this. Disagreeing, Agreeing.
Turn all of this off. Go find your family, friends, neighbor, stranger, pet, silent spot, and breathe.
Wave when you see someone, wave and smile. If someone falls, help them up. Pick up trash. Say hello . If you get the wrong order, be kind as you talk with people, don't make people who are serving you feel stupid. Encoruage your kids to be kind, to be aware. To recognize when someone is being treated poorly, mean, or derogatory and speak up and out, teach them to change the environment.
Do the same yourself.
And if you are religious, say a prayer for all attendees at Oklahoma City's “Black Lives Matter” and those in blue. Many of those officers are there to protect. Many of those protesters are there to peacefully mourn and yes, to rage. Pray for wisdom in heated moments. For kindness in the aftermath of hate. For us to see one another again and start to listen.
We are all in this together. You can't build a wall.
We all have sledgehammers.
I refuse to accept we cannot get a grip, start identifying plans to change our communities-start local.
Yesterday, on Main Street, I ran into my classmate, our skin hues blended as we hugged and kissed cheeks.
I refuse to accept creating a world where she has to worry for her children because someone else only knows their skin.
This is our part of the world. We can create a community where fear is not what shapes our views, where segregation of mind does not continue to taint or further erode our sense of commitment to one another. Where one another's kids matter to each of us because we realize, caring for all creates a better world for each.
Be kind to one another.