Are you even listening?

Late last night as we were laying in bed,
we were talking about the man who was recently shot dead.
You see, his car broke down in the middle of the road.
This man, he did not have a gun or a knife,
nothing that would justify him losing his life
— except he was black.
This hits close to home because the man I lay next to at night, well
— he’s black too.

My husband is big and strong. He works in ministry.
He makes me think of the world a little differently.
He’s a newlywed – 2015.
His love for me, his love for others,
it’s raw and unconditional, and totally genuine.

Needless to say, my heart hurts when these tragedies happen…every time.
I’ve got this fear, in the back of my mind, that one day he’ll be the next big headline.
Black man shot for expired tag.
Another black man in another body bag.
Because some cops are scared or at least unprepared?

So now I just want to be with him, all the time — I’m a white woman.
Maybe my light skin would act as a defense (??)
against his dark complexion — i mean, his “threatening” disposition — i mean his expired tag.

I want that to make a difference,
but I also really don’t.


Okay, but, how can we help? What can we say?
Well, I’m going to start by listening, at least.

Listen to your black brothers, sisters, and friends.
Listen, truly listen. Learn.
Don’t allow your privilege to make you so ignorantly unconcerned.

I mean, these are human lives we’re talking about here.
People made in the image of God Himself.
Just like you. Just like me.

So are you listening?
Or are you impulsively reposting that one picture from that one time, years ago,
when the guy that’s now dead was smoking a joint and sagging his pants low?
Like that’s all that defines him.

Are you listening?
Or are you seeing the athletes kneel in peaceful protest,
and then becoming overtly defensive about our flag and our soldiers?
Do you realize you are changing the conversation altogether?

Are you listening?
Or are you burning your Nikes and boycotting football,
like that will make any difference to anything at all.

Are you listening?
Please listening.

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