My Silence has been complicit


As the world explodes, yet again, I am left feeling uncomfortable in my silence.

I am from St. Louis, MO, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, home to the Arch and the city where the Ferguson Uprising occurred.

During those days in 2014, I held a different view.  I, like many people still do today, focused more on the destruction of property and the looting.  But as time progressed and I began to see the same scenarios being played out over again and again, of black men and women being killed by the police and/or in police custody, my view began to change.

It was Philando Castile’s death, on Facebook Live, that completed my cycle of change.  That day I reached my breaking point.  Listening to him take his last breaths while watching as he leans back, slowly, T-shirt stained with blood, I reached my breaking point.  My chest filled with the weight of that scene and all the others.  My throat closed up around the fist enclosed within it.  I began to sob, uncontrollably, and anyone who knows me, knows I hate to cry.  And although my body was filled with all that pain, I still remained silent.  Deaths continued to occur.  Atatiyanna Jefferson, Botham Jean and the list continued to grow and I remained silent.

Now it’s 2020 and Breonna Taylor was killed, then George Floyd.  Everyone has seen the video.  A man, a black man, lying on his stomach, with a knee in his neck.  Not any knee, but a knee belonging to a police officer.  I hear him repeatedly say, “I can’t breathe.”  Is this Eric Garner all over again?  And the officer remains planted on his neck, hands in his pocket, indifferent to the struggle for air from the man beneath him.  An officer indifferent to taking this man’s life and obviously indifferent to the repercussions his actions would have. And now, I can no longer sit comfortably in my silence.

I have been quiet for too long.  Maybe it’s out of fear.  Obviously out of fear.  I even made a Facebook post about it.  That post states…

“I almost never post about such times as these.  I didn’t want to argue with the “trolls,” whose sole intent and purpose is to say hurtful, hateful and ignorant things.  I was afraid of how I would be seen, of losing friends, and of alienating myself because of my views…my silence has been complicit.

“Now here we are again, yet again and I can no longer stand by silently.  No longer can I worry about arguing or alienating myself or alienating others.  No longer can I worry about losing “so-called” friends or how I will be seen because of my views.  Now it’s time for me…to help my community fight for what has long been denied.”

Today I decided to choose courage.  Today I decided would be the day I make my very first blog post on a blog I’ve had for five years.  Today is the day I feel the fear and do it anyway.

Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

One thought on “My Silence has been complicit

  1. I hear ya friend!!! No more silence!!! This spoke to me!!! Thanks for sharing what I’ve been also feeling!!!!❤


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