When I've TRIED switches to I'm TIRED.
Change what they see...
We repeatedly had conversations that many will never know. In those talks, we called right, right and wrong, wrong... We asked them to use their manners, overly yes sir-ing and no sir-ing.... comply, don't resist, be home early, walk slowly but not to slow, pants up, eye contact, but not defiant, drive slow but not to slow.... turn your music down, don't talk to loud, avoid that neighborhood, swallow your pride, be degraded if necessary and beyond-
We would silence their "buts" Try to explain away their counter examples, Rationalize their embarrassment, Apologize for their mental trauma, Acknowledge their stripped manhood/humanity. See tiredness in their faces but insist anyway, Vague answer their specific what-ifs Demand that they live by double standards, We talked through no-brainer stuff like it is NOT NOR WILL EVER be acceptable to chase someone down, start a fight , and kill them in the name of self defense, -you can not do that. Explain the silent voices of pastors, teachers, car pool moms, next door neighbors, coaches We could see them trying to believe, All the while, we were sad.
We were, we are saddened because we could see it in their eyes. Yes,, our frustration, had much to do with the actions of few and the silence of the more, but our sadness... it had everything to do with us. They began to disbelieve me, they disbelieve we. And that is saddening. What people group does not desire to give their people group hope?
The looting, rioting, stealing moves us differently. Admittedly, it is not my way. Yet, I am clear, until we lean in on their WHY they do...We will have no impact on their WHAT they do. Some may never seek to understand why some do not respect a word, literally could not care less about a lecture regarding stealing and the possibility of going to jail ...when they completely understand that murderers walk free. While they fully comprehend that two wrongs don't make a right; simultaneously, they understand that some wrongs are repeatedly pushed out of sight. What we find appalling in their behavior, they deem disdainful hypocrisy in ours. Excluding the outliers and planted trolls who will always take advantage of any situation, To change their behavior, change what they believe. To change their beliefs, change what they see. My part, your part, our part, we must change what they see.
I honor the greatness in each of us.