Short answer, you aren’t. With permission, I’m sharing the feelings of a woman well versed in navigating the complex issues of being a part of an interracial family. She’s educated, active, and great at applying that knowledge in raising her daughter. Everyone feels lost on this one. Please post your feelings, reactions, and suggestions in the comments.
The post below was a Facebook status following the decision by a Staten Island grand jury to not indite the man who, behind a badge and uniform, placed an illegal-by-all-standards (regular law and NYPD conduct) choke-hold on Eric Garner, ending his life:
I sat down to write about Eric Garner, and the feeling that these killings keep rolling down, relentlessly, one after another, with no repercussions. I thought it was just me, a white person waking up, that this bewilderment, the sense that things are worse than they have been was just me, but from other people’s pages I see that it isn’t.
Tonight, my daughter climbed into my lap at dinner after she reluctantly finished the soup we’d picked up. There was a television at the restaurant, thankfully small and at low volume, but she fleetingly saw video about Eric Garner. She may have seen the club at his throat. I made her sit so she couldn’t see, but she knew something was up and persisted in asking questions and I told her we would talk about it in the car, and we did. So tonight after she put down her spoon and sat in my lap, she took my face in her hands and said, “Can we please get delivery next time?” She doesn’t want to leave the house because she’s afraid of what she’ll see.
I’m a lawyer and a former public defender and I believe deeply in the legal concept of intent, but I just have no way of wrapping my head around what is happening to my country.