45 seconds felt like 10 minutes as my son took his first solo lap around the office parking lot on Monday afternoon during our driving lesson. You see, for about 45 seconds of that lap, he was out of my sight going around the buildings. We were in the large, multi-building parking lot in Dublin where I used to work. Security had come by when we first started. They slowed down when they got to us, and when I realized it was because they couldn't see me as I was standing on the other side of the car, I stepped into view and they then left . But that kind of thing happens all the time. The 45 seconds that my son was out of view filled me with a new level of fear as I worried cuz it was taking too long for him to appear...did he get stopped by security? Will he be able to call me for help? Which direction should I run to get to that side the fastest?
As a mother of a black son, there isn't a time he leaves the house that I don't hold my breath until he returns home. I'm also in a constant state of worry for him, my nephew, my brother, and my love. But now I also worry about my own safety and that of my sisters in a way I didn't before.
Unless you LIVE the feeling of fearing those who are supposed to protect you or know what it's like to be preyed upon just because if your skin color, you can't understand. But you can support, fight for and demand change. You can educate yourself, children, and family, and you can refuse to tolerate racism in any form...that may mean having uncomfortable conversations with friends or family, demanding legislative change or no longer staying silent when someone makes a joke or comment you know is racist...or perhaps no longer making them yourself.
The injustice of preying upon and killing black people by the police (or those who act like they are the police) should invoke rage in us all. Convictions, appropriate charges AND sentences are what must happen because they are key to creating case law that will set the stage for change.
In the meantime, we still must support and be kind to one another (and ourselves) as a lack of inner peace, suffocating fear, confusion, anxiety, pain, and anger are things we are all struggling with right now due to the state of our world.