“When will that be exactly?”
“Oh babe, I have no idea, no one knows. God told us to be ready at any hour of any day so it could happen tonight or in a thousand years, we just don’t know but we know we need to ready”
“Today would be a good day I think. I wish he would come today and make everything better”
‘Today would be a good day I think’, where did that come from right? He is barely eleven years old and he has learned that the world is broken and needs to be redeemed today. When I was eleven I was starting to think about boys, clothes, being a famous movie star, collecting tiger beat magazines with my allowance and River Phoenix. Times have changed so much with the age of the internet. The topic on his mind last night was Philledelphia and yet another black life snuffed out, another death where proper training for mental health could have been avoided, another demonstration of power gone wrong or given to the wrong people. We talked about his friends who are all ‘minority groups’ though to be honest he is one of a dozen white kids in his school. How is it that his friends can grow up and be afraid of the police, he doesn’t understand and sadly neither do I. I don’t hate cops, I have had some really good interactions with the cops in our neighbourhood, I have seen them working up in Regent Park, playing basketball with the kids or soccer or just standing around talking with them and getting to know them. I don’t think all cops are bad, but cops are human and humans can do horrible things to each other. Christians did/do horrible things to people, white people do horrible things to people, muslims, gangs (of any race), husbands, wives, children, we all have the capacity to do and be wrong, to be mean, cruel, abusive. Words and fists, guns and knives it doesn’t matter what weapon you wield you have the power to to hurt and abuse. Privilege then, is knowing you have that power and choosing to use your weapons to protect, to defend and to stand beside the people who need defending, the people who need protection, the people who need to finally feel safe. Privilege is a line of white Moms who stand arm in arm in between the the protestors and the police because they are Moms and any Mom who heard George Floyd call out for his Mom that day in late May immediately wanted to to go to his side, to fight for him, to save him. He was everyone’s son when he called for his Mom. Privilege is stepping in because you know that you are safer than the person you are stepping in for. Privilege is coming to understand that you will never know what it is like to be in the another persons shoes, coming to fully understand that I will never have to ‘have the talk with my boys’ about how to avoid confrontations with the police, how to remain calm, how to do as I am told to avoid trouble, it’s knowing that I will never have my 12 year old ask me “will I be next?”.