Ferguson – I Don’t Know How We Got Here and I Don’t Know How We Get Out

 

Mike Brown

Ezell Ford

John Crawford

Eric Garner

Just in the last thirty days, the above four men have died at the hands of police.  The circumstances were different in all four cases with the exception of two very real and frightening facts – they were all unarmed, and they were all black.

After watching the recent live stream of the protest in Ferguson and the militarization of their police force, I’ve been at a loss for words.  My anger has been scattered by disbelief, and my sadness mingled with confusion. I find myself thinking over and over, “This is not my country.  I do not live here.  This can’t be happening.  This is not America”.

I don’t have the right words for these events.  I cannot begin to know what my black friends are feeling at this moment.  I cannot know…but I can listen…

and I am.

I am listening with open ears and an open heart.

I consider myself a woman of color because of my Asian ethnicity and olive skin… I am no stranger to stereotyping or the occasional racial slur…

But I have not felt like my life was in danger because of my color.

I did however, marry a very white man and my boys appear… well, they appear white.  It’s wrong but true that I am relieved and grateful for that.

The recent events in Ferguson are terrifying.  I am dazed and unsure how to proceed in this time-warped country that now seems so strange and hateful…

I don’t know how we got here…

and I don’t know how we get out.

So I will follow the lead of my black friends.

I will speak out. I will support.

I will lend my shoulders when the work against racial bias feels too heavy to hold…

and I will hope with all my might that I will someday see a time when I need not be so grateful for my sons’ white-ness.

 

black sons

 

 

PS – Posts worth reading on the subject:

Pay Attention and Come to Your Own Conclusions – by Chris Lema

Racial Bias, police brutality, and the dangerous act of being black – by Kristen Howerton

Becoming a White Ally to Black People in the Aftermath of the Michael Brown Murder – by Janee Woods

Affected – by Karen Walrond

 

 



5 responses to “Ferguson – I Don’t Know How We Got Here and I Don’t Know How We Get Out”

  1. Listening with an open mind, supporting and speaking out…yes to all of this. I am hopeful more people will be doing this in response to everything that has happened this week. Thank you for the links.

  2. Ann says:

    Thanks for the post and for the links and for standing in the room with me.

  3. […] Chiu wrote Ferguson: I Don’t Know How We Got Here and I Don’t Know How We Get Out at Mommy Nani Boo […]

  4. Amanda says:

    This is so important. I saw a tweet the other day that basically said, if you are beginning to follow voices from different backgrounds than your own, don’t take everything they say as a personal attack. There is a lot of learning that needs to be done and a part of that may have to involve a kind of shame as we become aware of the things that we take for granted.

    What this has taught me is that just because a story does not spring from what I feel is my day-to-day reality, does not mean that it is not also a story that I play a part in, whether it’s bearing witness, speaking up, or changing my day-to-day.

  5. […] am I at a loss for words. Words are what I do… and yet since Ferguson, I have been unable to translate my confusion, my anger, my sadness, into […]

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