Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Devout Reflection in Memory of Eric Garner

You don't look like me.  I must be afraid of how you approach me.

You don't sound like me.  I must be afraid of how you speak to me.

You don't dress like me.  I must be afraid of your choice of fashion.

You don't go to the same church as I do.  I must be afraid of your God.

You don't have the same experiences I do.  I must be afraid of giving them credence.

You don't have the same friends I do.  I must be afraid of hanging out with them.

You don't make money the way I make money.  I must be afraid of you possibly scamming me.

You don't listen to the music I listen to.  I must be afraid of its lyrics.

You don't watch the television shows I watch.  I must be afraid of subliminal messages in them.

You don't stay quiet when white people hurt you.  I must be afraid of reverse racism.

You sell your cigarettes out on the street.  I must be afraid of your moneymaking misdemeanor.

You die tragically in full view of the world.  I must be afraid of confronting what has happened to you.

You aren't me.  I must be afraid of you.

And in so doing, I have become afraid of a world that could ever be truly just.

Eric Garner, as a white man, I am so, so sorry for your death.

I am sorry that this system that white men before me have built has shown no interest in honoring your death with the truth.

I am sorry that unedited, unadulterated videotaped evidence was not enough to speak for you.

I am sorry that while I share in the hurt of your family, friends, and black brothers and sisters, I am unable to share fully in their fear.

I am sorry that you will not receive even a crumb justice from a judiciary that is broken and sinful to possibly be beyond repair.

I am sorry for all of the souls who have come before you in this tragic pattern: Michael and Trayvon, Tamir and Amadou, and so many more.

And I am sorry for my own fears.  May the God we both lived under save me, and everyone, from our fears that have caused us not to see you for who were and are.

Go with God, my brother.

Yours in Christ,
Another Eric

1 comment:

  1. This is a lovely, pointed and moving meditation, and I hope those that read it feel moved to action. I feel absolutely sickened by today's miscarriage of justice. The struggle continues...