Friday, July 8, 2016
Can We All Take One Moment, Please?
My name's Avery. I'm an author and a gamer. I've been blessed to be given a fan base and platform from which to speak my views. Though I rarely speak out about something most find polarizing, I feel as though I'd be remiss if I didn't speak out about where I think my beloved country is going.
I am a black man. I have been a petty criminal. I have been arrested, I have been incarcerated, and I have spent enough time running afoul of the law to know that I never want to do it again. Nor do I ever want to be that person again.
I have also been accosted by members of law enforcement who judged me solely based on the color of my skin. I have been threatened by law enforcement for literally walking down the road. I have had one officer all but threaten to take my life if I ever returned to that town again.
I have also had members of law enforcement be far more lenient to me than I deserve. I have had members of law enforcement let me walk away when I was caught breaking the law. I've had police officers risk their jobs to cut me a break. One incident that stands out is when I was driving to work, many moons ago, with a suspended license and illegal plates (just to make things interesting). The cop not only let me go, he let me know the patrol times and routes of other officers so I could avoid them.
We approaching a moment of civil war, and I don't know, maybe that's what has to happen for us to wake up. I would like to believe that we can rise above these prejudices and hatreds before there is no one left to hate. I want to believe that we are not so far removed from rational thought that we cannot see the terrible destruction we are about to bring down upon ourselves.
If we all were to hate every member of a group that had done us wrong, I daresay this would be a lonely existence. We all have our prejudices, and as long as we're willing to see through them, that's fine (yes, I actually said it was okay to be prejudiced against something so long as you're not willing to kill the object of that prejudice).
Police need to be able to enforce the law without fearing for their lives. People of any color need to be able to walk down the street without worrying if they're going to be murdered by the people that are supposed to protect them. Movements need to see the ramifications of their actions before inciting more anger.
"Real America" is a nation of many faiths and ethnicities. You don't have to like this, but not liking it isn't going to change what it is. America does not belong to any one group. It belongs to every citizen of this great land.
And we are a breath away from killing ourselves right now.
So as you live your life today, I ask, I pray, that you take into account the lives of those around you. If you cannot agree, then please, leave each other alone. I ask this of all of our citizens because it is not us who will pay the price for our deeds, it is our children.
Love one another. Please.
Or at least allow the other to live in peace.
And if you break the law, then please, man the hell up and take the consequences of your actions because you brought them upon yourselves.
And if you're enforcing the law, then please, do so as you are supposed too. The badge is not a license to kill.
Thanks for reading.