As we made our way down a narrow road in an affluent suburb of Milwaukee–beach bound–the police SUV made its way down the road right behind us. We crept along, not quite sure we were on the right road, not quite sure why that police vehicle was on our tail. Is this a really polite suburban way of pulling us over? I wondered.
We made it to the park and pulled into a space in the lot. The police vehicle did two slow loops of the parking lot, then drove away, apparently just part of her patrol. The whole time, I felt uncomfortable and a little nervous. I also felt very aware that if I were black or brown instead of white, I would have felt a lot worse.
Last night I went to bed thinking about Anton Sterling. This morning I woke up and read about Philando Castile. Their names are added to the list of the many others who have died for no good reason. So many. Too many. I’d say, “Enough is enough,” but we passed that point long ago, and even one is too many, isn’t it?
I know that “thoughts and prayers” are not enough. I know that real change is needed, as this blog post with Advice for White Folks reminds us. But these words from Deuteronomy are running through my head this morning:
Moreover, the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.–Deuteronomy 30:6
And so I pray:
Circumcise our hearts, O God. Cut away hatred. Cut away racism. Cut away violence and indifference and fear. Make our hearts new. Fill them with love for you and for all your children, so that all your children may live. May it be so. Amen.
What can I do or say to be a better ally?